Ofatumumab Approved for Use in Combination with Fludarabine and Cyclophosphamide to Treat Patients with Relapsed CLL

The Backstory

Last month, the FDA approved the use of ofatumumab in combination with fludarabine and cyclophosphamide to treat patients with relapsed chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL).

This is the 4th FDA approval received by ofatumumab for the treatment of patients with CLL. Ofatumumab was initially approved in 2009 for the treatment of patients with CLL who are refractory to fludarabine and alemtuzumab, and subsequently approved in April 2014 for use in combination with chlorambucil for previously untreated patients with CLL. In January 2016 ofatumumab was approved for the treatment of patients with recurrent or progressive chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) who are in complete or partial response following at least two prior treatment therapies.

What is ofatumumab?

Ofatumumab is a human monoclonal antibody designed to target the CD20 molecules found on the surface of CLL cells and B-cell lymphocytes. CD20 molecules are found in over 90% of B-cell lymphomas. Ofatumumab is an immunotherapy that works by attaching itself to the CD20 molecule found on the surface of B-cells and directs the immune system to kill the cancerous B-cells.

Why was ofatumumab granted FDA approval?

The latest approval for ofatumumab was based on improved progression free survival (PFS) results in the phase III COMPLEMENT-2 study. PFS refers to the length of time following the course of treatment, that a patient’s disease does not get worse, or progress. In this study the median PFS of ofatumumab combined with chemotherapy was 28.9 months compared to 18.8 months for only the fludarabine and cyclophosphamide combination.

Were there any side effects?

Side effects were similar to the side effects found in previous trials. They included infusion reactions, neutropenia, thrombocytopenia, anemia, nausea, leukopenia, vomiting, pyrexia, rash, fatigue, and pneumonia.

How can you access ofatumumab now?

While all available WCM trials with ofatumumab for people with CLL have recently closed, our understanding of how best to use ofatumumab continues to increase. You can look to this space for further updates on CLL trials examining the use of ofatumumab.

A full list of trials open at WCM for patients with CLL is available on our Joint Clinical Trials website.

New Clinical Trial: Ofatumumab and Bortezomib in Untreated Waldenstrom Macroglobulinemia

A Multicenter Phase II Study of Ofatumumab and Bortezomib (OB) in Previously Untreated Patients with Waldenström Macroglobulinemia

Update: this study is closed to enrollment. 
The Weill Cornell Lymphoma Program is now enrolling patients in a new clinical trial for people with Waldenstrom Macroglobulinemia who have not been treated. The study sponsor is the National Comprehensive Cancer Network (NCCN). The principal investigator at Weill Cornell is Dr. Peter Martin.

For more information about the study, please call Amelyn Rodriguez, RN at (212) 746-1362 or email Amelyn at amr2017@med.cornell.edu.

Key Eligibility

  • Men and women age 18 and older
  • Diagnosis of Waldenstrom Macroglobulinemia (WM)
  • No prior anti-neoplastic therapy for WM
  • Detailed eligibility reviewed when you contact the study team

Study Details

Although there is currently no standard treatment for first-line management of WM, most clinicians and investigators believe that anti-CD20 directed therapy should compromise part of the regimen. Because it was the first therapeutic monoclonal antibody approved by the FDA , rituximab has been evaluated more than any antibody and has shown modest effects with limited toxicity. However, new treatments for WM are needed.

Ofatumumab has been approved for treatment of relapsed/refractory Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia (CLL). It is an anti-CD20 monoclonal antibody that compared favorably to rituximab in a recent Phase 2 trial in patients with WM.

The purpose of the study is to determine how well previously untreated people with Waldenstrom Macroglobulinemia respond to treatment with ofatumumab in combination with bortezomib (Velcade). The study will also evaluate the safety of ofatumumab in combination with bortezomib.

Treatment Plan

Study participants will have four 28-day cycles of induction phase therapy. Participants will receive treatments weekly for three weeks, and then have a rest period (no treatment) for the fourth week. After the four cycles, there will be 4 weeks of no therapy and then 4 cycles of maintenance phase therapy. The maintenance cycles will be 28 days long. Participants will receive three weeks of treatment, then a resting period (no treatment) for the fourth week. This will be followed by four weeks of rest (no treatments). Then a new cycle will begin. Thus a new cycle of maintenance treatment will begin every 8 weeks. The entire period for both induction and maintenance therapy will be 1 year (52 weeks).

Participants will be followed until disease progression or 5 years from study entry, whichever comes first.

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