Acalabrutinib, Venetoclax, and Obinutuzumab for Initial Therapy of CLL (AVO)

  • End date
    Jul 31, 2026
  • participants needed
  • sponsor
    Dana-Farber Cancer Institute
Updated on 19 June 2022
platelet count
lymphoid leukemia
chronic lymphocytic leukemia
monoclonal antibodies
measurable disease
direct bilirubin
gilbert's syndrome
neutrophil count
monoclonal protein
night sweats


This research study is evaluating the combination of three drugs - acalabrutinib, venetoclax, and obinutuzumab -- as a possible treatment for chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL).

The drugs involved in this study are:

  • Acalabrutinib
  • Venetoclax
  • Obinutuzmab


This research study is a Phase II clinical trial. Phase II clinical trials test the safety and effectiveness of investigational drugs to learn whether the drugs work in treating a specific disease. "Investigational" means that the drugs are being studied. The FDA (the U.S. Food and Drug Administration) has not approved acalabrutinib for CLL, although it is FDA-approved for patients with relapsed mantle cell lymphoma. The FDA has approved venetoclax and obinutuzumab separately for the treatment of patients with CLL. However, the FDA has not approved the combination of these three drugs together (acalabrutinb, venetoclax, and obinutuzumab) as a treatment for any disease. This combination is investigational. In this research study, the investigators are trying to learn if giving the three drugs together can safely and effectively treat CLL.

Acalabrutinib is a type of drug called a kinase inhibitor. It blocks a type of protein called Bruton Tyrosine Kinase (BTK) that helps CLL cells live and grow. By blocking BTK, acalabrutinib may kill cancer cells or stop them from growing. As of September 2017, acalabrutinib has been administered to more than 2,000 people including healthy volunteers, patients with cancers, and patients with rheumatoid arthritis. A few hundred patients with CLL have been treated with acalabrutinib as a single drug, and some of these patients had improvement of their cancer with this treatment.

Obinutuzumab is a type of drug called a monoclonal antibody. It targets a protein on the surface of the CLL cell, causing it to die. Obintuzumab has already been shown to be safe and effective at treating CLL, and is FDA-approved when given together with chemotherapy.

Venetoclax is an oral drug that blocks the function of a protein called BCL-2. CLL cancer cells are thought to depend on the BCL-2 protein for their survival. By blocking BCL-2, venetoclax may kill cancer cells or stop them from growing. Venetoclax has been shown to be safe and effective when given alone to treat patients with CLL and is FDA-approved for patients with CLL after their disease has worsened after at least 1 prior therapy.

If, after 15 or 24 cycles of this investigational therapy, participants have a complete response to the drugs in this trial -- meaning that the investigators cannot detect any CLL using CT scans, bone marrow biopsy and a sensitive test called minimal residual disease (MRD) testing -- participants will stop therapy with acalabrutinib and venetoclax. The investigators will continue to monitor participants while they are off of therapy, and if the CLL comes back participants will be able to restart acalabrutinib and venetoclax. The use of MRD testing to identify small amounts of CLL is investigational, meaning that it has not been FDA-approved. The use of results from this test to guide the decision to stop and re-start therapy, as is done in the trial here, is also investigational.

Condition Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia (CLL)
Treatment Obinutuzumab, venetoclax, acalabrutinib
Clinical Study IdentifierNCT03580928
SponsorDana-Farber Cancer Institute
Last Modified on19 June 2022


Yes No Not Sure

Inclusion Criteria

Subjects must have CLL or SLL
In cohort 2, subjects must have TP53-aberrant disease defined as
Del(17p) detected on karyotype and/or FISH; OR
TP53 mutation
Participants must have measurable disease (lymphocytosis > 5,000 / µl, or palpable or
CT measurable lymphadenopathy ≥ 1.5 cm, or bone marrow involvement ≥30%)
Subjects must not have received any prior systemic therapy for CLL or SLL due to meeting IWCLL 2018 guidelines and must currently have an indication for treatment as defined by the IWCLL 2018 guidelines
Massive or progressive or symptomatic splenomegaly; OR
Massive lymph nodes, nodal clusters, or progressive lymphadenopathy; OR
Significant fatigue (i.e. ECOG PS 2 or worse; cannot work or unable to perform usual activities); OR
Fever ≥ 100.5°F for 2 or more weeks without evidence of infection; OR
Night sweats for ≥ 1 months without evidence of infection; OR
Presence of weight loss ≥ 10% over the preceding 6 months; OR
Evidence of progressive marrow failure as manifested by the development of or worsening of anemia and/or thrombocytopenia; OR
Progressive lymphocytosis with an increase of ≥ 50% over a 2-month period or lymphocyte doubling time of less than 6 months; OR
Autoimmune anemia and/or thrombocytopenia that is poorly responsive to corticosteroids and another standard therapy such as rituximab; OR
Symptomatic or functional extranodal involvement
Age greater than or equal to 18 years
Participants must have adequate organ and marrow function as defined below
ECOG performance status ≤2
total bilirubin ≤1.5 times upper limit of normal, unless there is disease involvement of the liver, hemolysis, or a known history of Gilbert's disease, in which case direct bilirubin must be ≤3 times the upper limit of normal
AST and ALT ≤ 2.5 times the upper limit of normal. If there is hemolysis or documented disease involvement of the liver, then patients with any AST or ALT abnormalities remain eligible
creatinine clearance (CrCl) ≥ 50 mL/min using 24-hour urine collection for creatinine clearance or calculated CrCl
PT/INR ≤2 times the upper limit of normal and PTT ≤2 times the upper limit of normal
Absolute neutrophil count ≥750 cells/mm3 or ≥500 cells/mm3 in subjects with documented bone marrow involvement
Platelet count without transfusional support must be ≥50,000 cells/mm3 or ≥ 30,000 cells/mm3 in subjects with documented bone marrow involvement
Pregnant or lactating

Exclusion Criteria

Participants who have a history of other malignancies except
Malignancy treated with curative intent and with no known active disease present and felt to be at low risk for recurrence by treating physician. Current adjuvant hormonal therapy for disease treated with curative intent is permissible
Adequately treated non-melanoma skin cancer or lentigo maligna without evidence of disease
Adequately treated carcinoma in situ without evidence of disease
Low-risk prostate cancer on active surveillance
Participants who are receiving any other investigational agents
History of severe allergic reactions attributed to compounds of similar chemical or biologic composition to obinutuzumab, venetoclax, or acalabrutinib. Patients with reactions to other CD20 monoclonal antibodies (e.g. rituximab, ofatumumab) are not excluded
Unable to receive prophylactic treatment for pneumocystis, herpes simplex virus (HSV), and herpes zoster (VZV) at start of treatment
Known or suspected Richter's transformation or known CNS involvement
Concurrent systemic immunosuppressant therapy (e.g., cyclosporine A, tacrolimus, etc., within 28 days of the first dose of study drug or chronic administration of >20 mg/day of prednisone within 7 days of the first dose)
Vaccinated with live, attenuated vaccines within 4 weeks of first dose of study drug
Ongoing or recent infection requiring intravenous antimicrobials at time of screening
Known bleeding disorders (e.g. von Willebrand's disease) or hemophilia
Presence of a gastrointestinal ulcer diagnosed by endoscopy within 3 months before screening
History of stroke or intracranial hemorrhage within 6 months prior to enrollment
Major surgery within 4 weeks of first dose of study drug. If a subject had major surgery greater than 4 weeks prior to the first dose, they must have recovered adequately from any toxicity and/or complications from the intervention before the first dose of study drug
Currently active, clinically significant cardiovascular disease, such as uncontrolled arrhythmia or Class 3 or 4 congestive heart failure as defined by the New York Heart Association Functional Classification; or a history of myocardial infarction, unstable angina, or acute coronary syndrome within 6 months prior to randomization
Baseline QTcF >480 ms. NOTE: This criterion does not apply to patients with a left bundle branch block
Patients who require warfarin or other vitamin K antagonists for anticoagulation (other anticoagulants are allowed)
Patients who require treatment with proton pump inhibitors (see Appendix F). Subjects receiving proton pump inhibitors who switch to H2-receptor antagonists or antacids are eligible for enrollment on this study
Patients who require concurrent treatment with strong CYP3A inhibitors or strong CYP3A inducers are excluded from the study. If patients are receiving strong CYP3A inhibitors/inducers at time of screening but do not require continuous administration of these agents, these patients are eligible if there is a 3-day washout period between discontinuation of the strong CYP3A inhibitor/inducer and initiation of the first study drug, acalabrutinib
Patients who require concurrent treatment with P-gp inhibitors or narrow therapeutic index P-gp substrates are excluded from the study. If patients are receiving P-gp inhibitors or narrow therapeutic index P-gp substrates at time of screening but do not require continuous administration of these agents, these patients are eligible if there is a 3-day washout period between discontinuation of the P-gp inhibitor and initiation of acalabrutinib
Unable to swallow capsules or malabsorption syndrome, disease significantly affecting gastrointestinal function, or resection of the stomach or small bowel if thought by the investigator to compromise systemic absorption, active, symptomatic inflammatory bowel disease or ulcerative colitis, or partial or complete bowel obstruction
Patients with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) or active hepatitis C virus (HCV) or hepatitis B virus (HBV) infection
Significant co-morbid condition or disease which in the judgment of the Principal Investigator would place the patient at undue risk or interfere with the study
Uncontrolled intercurrent illness including, but not limited to, ongoing or active infection, symptomatic congestive heart failure, unstable angina pectoris, cardiac arrhythmia, or psychiatric illness/social situations that would limit compliance with study requirements, compromise the subject's safety, or put the study outcomes at undue risk
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