Pembrolizumab in MarginalzoneLymphoma A MULTICENTER OPEN LABEL SINGLE-ARM PHASE II STUDY

  • STATUS
    Recruiting
  • End date
    Apr 17, 2029
  • participants needed
    56
  • sponsor
    University of Ulm
Updated on 7 October 2022

Summary

For marginal zone lymphoma (MZL) Rituximab in combination with conventional chemotherapy is widely used for those patients who fail local therapy or do not qualify for such. Depending on the MZL subtype Rituximab/chemotherapy is able to induce in part long remissions, but does not prevent relapse later on. In addition, chemotherapy associated toxicity is often problematic in MZL patients, who are mostly of advanced age. Thus, chemotherapy-free approaches are highly attractive for this patient group. Rituximab single agent is a widely used chemotherapy-free approach in MZL, but was significantly inferior compared to Rituximab/chlorambucil in a large randomized prospective clinical trial in treatment naïve MZL with a CR rate of 55.8% vs. 78.8%, respectively (P < 0.001). Thus, it is the major aim to develop chemotherapy-free approaches for MZL, which approach or surpass efficacy of rituximab/chemotherapy combinations, but avoid chemotherapy associated toxicities.

Checkpoint inhibitors such as Pembrolizumab have revolutionized cancer treatment and have also shown first encouraging results in Non-Hodgkin lymphomas. Based on these observations it is the aim of this study to test the toxicity and efficacy of Pembrolizumab in combination with the anti-CD20 antibody Rituximab in patients with newly diagnosed or relapsed MZL in need of treatment, who are not eligible or failed local therapy, following the assumption that this novel chemotherapy-free combination is significantly more efficient than Rituximab single agent therapy and at least as efficient as rituximab/chemotherapy, but avoids chemotherapy-related toxicity.

Description

For marginal zone lymphoma (MZL) Rituximab in combination with conventional chemotherapy is widely used for those patients who fail local therapy or do not qualify for such. Depending on the MZL subtype Rituximab/chemotherapy is able to induce in part long remissions, but does not prevent relapse later on. In addition, chemotherapy associated toxicity is often problematic in MZL patients, who are mostly of advanced age. Thus, chemotherapy-free approaches are highly attractive for this patient group. Rituximab single agent is a widely used chemotherapy-free approach in MZL, but was significantly inferior compared to Rituximab/chlorambucil in a large randomized prospective clinical trial in treatment naïve MZL with a CR rate of 55.8% vs. 78.8%, respectively (P < 0.001). Thus, it is the major aim to develop chemotherapy-free approaches for MZL, which approach or surpass efficacy of rituximab/chemotherapy combinations, but avoid chemotherapy associated toxicities.

Checkpoint inhibitors such as Pembrolizumab have revolutionized cancer treatment and have also shown first encouraging results in Non-Hodgkin lymphomas. Based on these observations it is the aim of this study to test the toxicity and efficacy of Pembrolizumab in combination with the anti-CD20 antibody Rituximab in patients with newly diagnosed or relapsed MZL in need of treatment, who are not eligible or failed local therapy, following the assumption that this novel chemotherapy-free combination is significantly more efficient than Rituximab single agent therapy and at least as efficient as rituximab/chemotherapy, but avoids chemotherapy-related toxicity.

The objective of the trial is to test the efficacy and toxicity of treatment with Pembrolizumab and Rituximab in patients with MZL in need of treatment, who have failed or are not eligible for local therapy or relapsed. For efficacy the rate of complete remissions (according to the GELA criteria for gastric MALT or to the Cheson 2007 criteria for nodal and splenic MZL) after end of treatment (18 cycles) will be primarily analyzed. For toxicity assessment treatment associated adverse events, quality of life and cumulative incidence of secondary malignancies will be documented.

This study is a European multicenter, single-arm, open-label, phase II trial of 18 cycles of Pembrolizumab and Rituximab in patients aged ≥ 18 years with previously untreated or relapsed MZL in need of treatment.

Primary endpoint is the complete response (CR rate (CRR) determined after end of treatment (18 cycles).

The study flow will be as follows:

  • Previously untreated or relapsed patients will be screened for eligibility for the trial. If the patient is eligible for the study, the patient will be registered before the first cycle of treatment.
  • Patients who progress at any time point during treatment are considered as treatment failure. They will be followed up for overall survival until end of follow up period or death.
  • Patients, who achieve at least a SD after treatment will be followed up for response until progression/relapse and for overall survival until death.

It is expected that a total of 56 patients at approximately 15 investigator sites in Germany and 3 centers in Austria will be registered. Every patient will receive treatment over a time period of 18 cycles (each cycle lasts 3 weeks). Subsequently, patients will be monitored every 3 months for 2 additional years, subsequently every 6 months for three additional years. The follow-up phase will be shorter than 5 years if End of Study is reached before this time period.

Details
Condition Marginal Zone Lymphoma
Treatment Rituximab, Pembrolizumab
Clinical Study IdentifierNCT04268277
SponsorUniversity of Ulm
Last Modified on7 October 2022

Eligibility

Yes No Not Sure

Inclusion Criteria

Patients must have a proven pathological diagnosis of MZL, diagnosed by a reference
pathology center
Patients must meet the following inclusion criteria to be eligible for participation in
this study
Confirmed CD20 positive de novo or relapsed MALT Lymphoma in need of treatment
following or being not eligible for local therapy (including surgery, radiotherapy and
antibiotics e.g. for H. pylori-positive gastric lymphoma arisen at any extranodal
For nodal MZL and extragastric MALT lymphoma
site) OR
Confirmed CD20 positive de novo or relapsed splenic MZL in need of treatment following
or not being eligible for local therapy (including surgery and antiviral therapy for
For splenic MZL (SMZL)
Hepatitis C Virus) OR
Confirmed CD20 positive de novo or relapsed nodal MZL in need of treatment following
or not being eligible for local therapy (radiotherapy). The need of treatment is
At least one of the following criteria must be fulfilled
applicable in the case of B symptoms, deterioration of peripheral blood counts due to
Bulky progressive or painful splenomegaly
lymphoma infiltration of the bone marrow, rapid enlargement of lymph nodes or
compression of vital organs by bulky disease
• At least one bi-dimensionally measurable lesion (>=1.5 cm in its largest dimension by
For gastric MALT Lymphoma
CT/PET-CT scan or MRI)
In patients with splenic MZL, an enlarged spleen on CT scan and lymphoma cell infiltration
has to be seen in bone marrow and/or peripheral blood
Inclusion is possible for patients with
one of the following symptomatic/progressive cytopenias: Hb < 10 g/dL, or Platelet
Others
count < 80.000 /µL, or neutropenia < 1000 /µL, whatever the reason (autoimmune or
hypersplenism or bone marrow infiltration)
Life expectancy > 3 months
splenectomised patients with rapidly raising lymphocyte counts, development of
lymphadenopathy or involvement of extranodal sites if not being eligible for local
therapy
SMZL with concomitant hepatitis C infection which has not responded to or has relapsed
after Interferon and/or Ribavirin and/or direct antiviral agents (patients positive
for HCV antibody are eligible only if PCR is negative for HCV RNA)
For gastric MALT lymphoma, the clinical evidence of the MZL as seen by gastroendoscopy is
sufficient. There is no need to show a measurable lesion by CT scan or MRI
Negative HIV antibody
H. pylori-negative cases following or being not eligible for local therapy (i.e
surgery, radiotherapy or antibiotics) or after systemic therapy
H. pylori-positive disease that has remained stable, progressed, or relapsed following
antibiotic therapy
Age ≥ 18 years
Meet the following pretreatment laboratory criteria at the Screening visit conducted
within 28 days of study enrollment (unless due to underlying lymphoma)
Baseline platelet count ≥ 75 x 109/L (if not due to BM infiltration by the
lymphoma), absolute neutrophil count ≥ 1.5 x 109/L
Hemoglobin ≥ 9.0 g/dL or ≥ 5.6 mmol/L (Criteria must be met without
erythropoietin dependency and without packed red blood cell (pRBC) transfusion
within last 2 weeks)
International Normalized Ratio (INR) or Prothrombin Time (PT): ≤ 1.5 × ULN unless
subject is receiving anticoagulant therapy as long as PT or PTT is within
therapeutic range of intended use of anticoagulants
Activated Partial Thromboplastin Time (aPTT): ≤ 1.5 × ULN unless subject is
receiving anticoagulant therapy as long as PT or PTT is within therapeutic range
of intended use of anticoagulants
ASAT (SGOT): ≤ 2.5 times the upper limit of institutional laboratory normal value
or ≤ 5 times the upper limit of institutional laboratory normal value in subjects
with lymphoma in the liver
ALAT (SGPT): ≤ 2,5 times the upper limit of institutional laboratory normal value
or ≤ 5 times the upper limit of institutional laboratory normal value in subjects
with lymphoma in the liver
Serum total bilirubin: ≤ 1.5 × ULN OR Direct bilirubin ≤ ULN for subjects with
total bilirubin levels > 1.5 ULN (unless clearly related to the disease)
Serum creatinine ≤ 1.5 × ULN OR ≥ 60 mL/min GFR or CrCl for subjects with
creatinine levels > 1.5 × institutional ULN
Patients with occult or prior HBV infection (defined as negative HBsAg and
positive total HBcAb) may be included if HBV DNA is undetectable, provided that
they are willing to undergo monthly DNA testing. Patients who have protective
titers of HBSAb after vaccination or prior but cured hepatitis B are eligible
Patients positive for HCV antibody are eligible only if PCR is negative for HCV
RNA
For women of child-bearing potential only: Pregnancy β-HCG negative. Serum or
urine β-HCG must be negative during screening and at study enrolment visit
Premenopausal fertile females must agree to use a highly effective method of birth
control for the duration of the therapy up to 12 months after the last dose of
Rituximab and through 4 months after the last dose of Pembrolizumab. A highly
effective method of birth control is defined as those which results in a low failure
rate (i.e. less than 1% per year) when used consistently and correctly such as
combined (estrogen and progestogen containing) hormonal contraception associated with
inhibition of ovulation (oral, intravaginal or transdermal), progestogen-only hormonal
contraception associated with inhibition of ovulation (oral, injectable or
implantable), intrauterine device (IUD), intrauterine hormone-releasing system (IUS)
bilateral tubal occlusion, vasectomised partner or sexual abstinence. Contraception
and pregnancy testing are required according the CTFG recommendations
(<http://www.hma.eu/fileadmin/dateien/Human_Medicines/01-About_HMA/Working_Groups/CTFG/>
_09_HMA_CTFG_Contraception.pdf)
Men must agree not to father a child for the duration of therapy and 6 months after
and must agree to advice a female partner to use a highly effective method of birth
control. According to CTFG recommendations, men must use condoms
Willingness and ability to comply with scheduled visits, drug administration plan
imaging studies, laboratory tests, other study procedures, and study restrictions
Evidence of a personally signed informed consent indicating that the subject is aware
of the neoplastic nature of the disease and has been informed of the procedures to be
followed, the experimental nature of the therapy, alternatives, potential benefits
possible side effects, potential risks and discomforts, and other pertinent aspects of
study participation

Exclusion Criteria

The presence of any of the following will exclude a subject from enrolment
Breastfeeding or Pregnancy
Congestive heart failure > New York Heart Association (NYHA) class 2
Myocardial infarction less than 6 months before start of study medication
Uncontrolled arterial hypertension despite optimal medical management
Vaccination with a live vaccine within 30 days prior to start of therapy
Non-healing wound, ulcer, or bone fracture
Has a known history of active TB (Bacillus Tuberculosis)
Medical history of allogeneic stem cell transplant
Diagnosis of Stevens-Johnson Syndrome (SJS) and Toxic Epidermal Necrolysis (TEN)
ECOG performance status ≥ 2
History of a malignancy except for the following: adequately treated local basal cell
or squamous cell carcinoma of the skin, cervical carcinoma in situ, superficial
bladder cancer, asymptomatic prostate cancer without known metastatic disease and with
no requirement for therapy or requiring only hormonal therapy and with normal prostate
specific antigen for ≥ 1 year prior to study enrolment visit, other malignancy treated
with a curative intent and currently in complete remission, for ≥ 3 years
Central nervous system lymphoma, leptomeningeal lymphoma, or histologic evidence of
transformation to a high-grade or diffuse large B-cell lymphoma
Has had prior chemotherapy (systemic anti-cancer therapy), targeted small molecule
therapy, or radiation therapy within 2 weeks prior to study Day 1 or who has not
recovered (i.e., ≤ Grade 1 or baseline value) from AEs due to a previously
administered agent
Note: Subjects with ≤ Grade 2 neuropathy are an exception to this criterion and
may qualify for the study
Note: If a subject received major surgery, they must have recovered adequately
from complications from the intervention prior to starting therapy
Evidence of ongoing systemic bacterial, fungal, or viral infection at the time of
study enrolment visit
Ongoing drug-induced liver injury, chronic active hepatitis B (HBV), alcoholic liver
disease, non-alcoholic steatohepatitis, primary biliary cholangitis, extrahepatic
obstruction caused by cholelithiasis, cirrhosis of the liver, or portal hypertension
Treatment with any other investigational agent or participating in another clinical
trial with an investigational product within 4 weeks prior to entering this study or
within 5 x the half-life (t1/2) of the investigational product, whichever is longer
Unstable angina (angina symptoms at rest), new-onset angina (begun within the last 3
months)
Prior or ongoing clinically significant illness, medical condition, surgical history
physical finding, electrocardiogram (ECG) finding, or laboratory abnormality that, in
the investigator's opinion, could adversely affect the safety of the subject or impair
the assessment of study results
Arterial or venous thrombotic or embolic events such as cerebrovascular accident
(including transient ischemic attacks), deep vein thrombosis or pulmonary embolism
within 3 months before the start of study medication
History or concurrent interstitial lung disease of any severity and/or severely
impaired lung function (as judged by the investigator)
Has received prior therapy with an anti-PD-1, anti-PD-L1, or anti PD L2 agent or with
an agent directed to another stimulatory or co-inhibitory T-cell receptor (e.g
CTLA-4, OX 40, CD137)
Has received prior radiotherapy within 2 weeks of start of study treatment
Participants must have recovered from all radiation-related toxicities, not require
corticosteroids, and not have had radiation pneumonitis. A 1-week washout is permitted
for palliative radiation (≤2 weeks of radiotherapy) to non-CNS disease
Has known active CNS metastases and/or carcinomatous meningitis. Participants with
previously treated brain metastases may participate provided they are radiologically
stable, i.e. without evidence of progression for at least 4 weeks by repeat imaging
(note that the repeat imaging should be performed during study screening), clinically
stable and without requirement of steroid treatment for at least 14 days prior to
first dose of study treatment
Has a history of non-infectious pneumonitis that required steroids, or current
pneumonitis
History of anaphylaxis in association with previous administration of monoclonal
antibodies or severe hypersensitivity (≥Grade 3) to the investigational medicinal
products and/or any of its excipients
Has active autoimmune disease that has required systemic treatment in the past 2 years
(i.e. with use of disease modifying agents, corticosteroids or immunosuppressive
drugs). Replacement therapy (e.g., thyroxine, insulin, or physiologic corticosteroid
replacement therapy for adrenal or pituitary insufficiency, etc.) is not considered a
form of systemic treatment
Ongoing alcohol or drug addiction or known psychiatric or substance abuse disorders
that would interfere with cooperation with the requirements of the trial
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