STop and Restart Acalabrutinib In fRail Patients With Previously Untreated Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia (STAIR)

  • End date
    Dec 31, 2026
  • participants needed
  • sponsor
    French Innovative Leukemia Organisation
Updated on 10 March 2022


The irreversible Bruton's Tyrosine Kinase (BTK) inhibitor acalabrutinib (ACA) has potent clinical activity as a single agent in patients with treatment naive and Relapsed/Refractory Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia (CLL).

However, a growing body of concerns is raising regarding the unlimited administration of targeted therapy as BTKi. First, long-term treatments expose the patients to increased risk of specific adverse events (infections, bleeding events or cardiovascular problems). Second, continuous administration might also increase the risk of clonal evolution and therapeutic resistance resulting from genetic alterations such as BTK or PLCG2 mutations. Discontinuation of therapy after a fixed period is expected to prevent these events.

Rapid and deep responses yielded by ACA in elderly patients pave the way of investigating a limited 18-months period schedule. This study aims to investigate the 1-year PFS upon ACA discontinuation and efficacy of restarting ACA upon symptomatic relapse.


This multicenter, non comparative, randomized phase II trial aims at evaluating the impact of a stopping ACA strategy on PFS of CLL patients >70 years or with coexisting comorbidities.

Patients will receive continuous Acalabrutinib (ACA) at 100 mg bid for 18 months. Dose adaptations will be made according to labels.

In case of first occurrence of grade ≥3 non-hematological toxicity, febrile grade ≥3 neutropenia or grade ≥4 hematological toxicity treatment must be stopped until recovering grade 1 or baseline state.

  • 1st and second occurrence : restart at 100 mg twice daily
  • 3rd occurrence : restart at 100 mg once daily
  • 4th occurrence : discontinue acalabrutinib

At month 19 day 1, patients will be randomized (1:2) in two arms:

  • Arm 1 = Control arm (acalabrutinib) continuing acalabrutinib until disease progression or unacceptable toxicity or
  • Arm 2 = Experimental arm (watch and monitor) without ACA (see trial design).

Upon progression in the experimental arm, all patients will be re-treated with ACA at the last received dose after central reviewing of treatment criteria.

Upon progression in the control arm, patients will receive next line therapy at the discretion of their physicians and according to iwCLL 2018 criteria.

Patients will be monitored every three months until M31 then every 6 months until M60 or progression for both response and toxicity according to CTCAE v.5.

Minimal/Measurable Residual Disease (MRD) assessment will be done at month 19 day 1 in the peripheral blood.

CT-scan will be performed at baseline, then at month 19 day 1 and every 6 months within the year after randomization.

Condition Untreated Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia
Treatment Stop ACA, ACA Continuation
Clinical Study IdentifierNCT04963946
SponsorFrench Innovative Leukemia Organisation
Last Modified on10 March 2022


Yes No Not Sure

Inclusion Criteria

Age > 70 years or older
Eastern Cooperative Oncology Group (ECOG) performance status < 2
Previously untreated CLL or Small Lymphocytic Lymphoma (SLL)
CLL or SLL requiring treatment according to the iwCLL 2018 criteria2
Total Cumulative Illness Rating Scale (CIRS) score > 6 or 30 < CrCl < 69 mL/min
Both patients with or without TP53 disruption 17p deletion and/or TP53 mutations) can be included
Patients can be included whatever their IGHV mutational status
Patients with therapy-controlled cardiovascular comorbidities and/or anticoagulation (novel oral anticoagulant alone, aspirin alone, heparin alone) can be included (patients treated by vitamin K antagonist or dual anti-platelet therapy cannot be included)
Life expectancy > 6 months
Adequate hematology values: absolute neutrophil count ≥ 0.75 x 109/L, platelet count ≥ 50 x 109/L
Adequate liver function as indicated by a total bilirubin <1.5, aspartate transaminase and alanine transaminase ≤3 the institutional upper limits of normal values, unless directly attributable to CLL
Signed (or their legally-acceptable representatives must sign) an informed consent document indicating that they understand the purpose of and procedures required for the study, including specify biology analysis, and are willing to participate in the study

Exclusion Criteria

Known HIV seropositivity
Evidence of other clinically significant uncontrolled condition(s) including, but not limited to
Uncontrolled and/or active systemic infection (viral, bacterial or fungal)
Known history of human immunodeficiency virus, serologic status reflecting active hepatitis B virus or hepatitis C virus infection, any uncontrolled active systemic infection along with subjects who are on ongoing anti-infective treatment and subjects who have received vaccination with a live attenuated vaccine within 4 weeks before the first dose of study treatment
Subjects who are hepatitis B core antibody (anti-HBc) positive and who are hepatitis B surface antibody (anti-HBs) negative will need to have a negative hepatitis B virus Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) result before enrollment. Those who are hepatitis B surface antigen (HBsAg) positive or hepatitis B virus PCR positive will be excluded
Subjects who are hepatitis C virus antibody positive will need to have a negative hepatitis C virus PCR result before enrollment. Those who are hepatitis C virus PCR positive will be excluded
Active and uncontrolled autoimmune cytopenia, including autoimmune hemolytic
anemia (AIHA) (isolated positive Direct Antiglobulin Testing (DAT) is not an
exclusion criteria) and idiopathic thrombocytopenic purpura (ITP)
Uncontrolled autoimmune hemolytic anemia or idiopathic thrombocytopenic purpura
Patients treated by vitamin K antagonist or dual anti-platelet therapy
History of bleeding diathesis (e.g. hemophilia or von Willebrand disease)
History of confirmed progressive multifocal leukoencephalopathy (PML)
Concurrent severe diseases which exclude the administration of therapy
heart insufficiency New York Heart Association (NYHA) grade III/IV, Left Ventricular Ejection Fraction (LEVF) < 50% and or Recirculation Fraction (RF) < 30%, myocardial infarction within the past 6 months prior to study
Significant cardiovascular disease such as symptomatic arrhythmias, congestive heart failure, or myocardial infarction within 6 months of Screening, or any Class 3 or 4 cardiac disease as defined by the New York Heart Association Functional (Subjects with controlled, asymptomatic atrial fibrillation are allowed to enroll on study)
severe chronic obstructive lung disease with hypoxemia
history of stroke or intra-cranial hemorrhage within the last 6 months
severe diabetes mellitus
uncontrolled hypertension
impaired renal function with creatinine clearance < 30 ml/min according the formula of Cockcroft and Gault
Patient who requires treatment with proton-pump inhibitors (e.g., omeprazole, esomeprazole, lansoprazole, dexlansoprazole, rabeprazole, or pantoprazole). Subjects receiving proton-pump inhibitors who switch to H2-receptor antagonists or antacids are eligible for enrollment in this study
Disease significantly affecting gastrointestinal function (malabsorption syndrome
stomach or small bowel resection)
Evidence for Richter syndrome
Treatment with any of the following within 7 days prior to the first dose of study drug: steroid therapy for anti-neoplastic intent
A significant history of renal, neurologic, psychiatric, endocrine, metabolic, immunologic, cardiovascular, or hepatic disease that, in the opinion of the investigator, would adversely affect the patient's participation in this study or interpretation of study outcomes
Major surgery within 30 days prior to the first dose of study treatment
History of prior other malignancy that could affect compliance with the protocol or interpretation of results, with the exception of the following
curatively treated basal cell carcinoma or squamous cell carcinoma of the skin or carcinoma in situ of the cervix at any time prior to study
other cancers not specified above that have been curatively treated by surgery and/or radiation therapy from which patient is disease-free for ≥ 5 years without further treatment
Adult under law-control
Fertile male patients who cannot or do not wish to use an effective method of contraception, during and for 12 months after the final treatment used for the purposes of the study
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