Ibrutinib versus previous standard of care: an adjusted comparison in patients with relapsed/refractory chronic lymphocytic leukaemia

Ann Hematol. 2017 Oct;96(10):1681-1691. doi: 10.1007/s00277-017-3061-3. Epub 2017 Jul 31.


This study explored the relative efficacy of ibrutinib versus previous standard-of-care treatments in relapsed/refractory patients with chronic lymphocytic leukaemia (CLL), using multivariate regression modelling to adjust for baseline prognostic factors. Individual patient data were collected from an observational Stockholm cohort of consecutive patients (n = 144) diagnosed with CLL between 2002 and 2013 who had received at least second-line treatment. Data were compared with results of the RESONATE clinical trial. A multivariate Cox proportional hazards regression model was used which estimated the hazard ratio (HR) of ibrutinib versus previous standard of care. The adjusted HR of ibrutinib versus the previous standard-of-care cohort was 0.15 (p < 0.0001) for progression-free survival (PFS) and 0.36 (p < 0.0001) for overall survival (OS). A similar difference was observed also when patients treated late in the period (2012-) were compared separately. Multivariate analysis showed that later line of therapy, male gender, older age and poor performance status were significant independent risk factors for worse PFS and OS. Our results suggest that PFS and OS with ibrutinib in the RESONATE study were significantly longer than with previous standard-of-care regimens used in second or later lines in routine healthcare. The approach used, which must be interpreted with caution, compares patient-level data from a clinical trial with outcomes observed in a daily clinical practice and may complement results from randomised trials or provide preliminary wider comparative information until phase 3 data exist.

Keywords: Chronic lymphocytic leukaemia; Ibrutinib; Previous standard of care; Relapsed refractory.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Comparative Study
  • Multicenter Study
  • Observational Study

MeSH terms

  • Adenine / analogs & derivatives
  • Age Factors
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Case-Control Studies
  • Disease-Free Survival
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Leukemia, Lymphocytic, Chronic, B-Cell / drug therapy*
  • Leukemia, Lymphocytic, Chronic, B-Cell / mortality*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Piperidines
  • Pyrazoles / administration & dosage*
  • Pyrimidines / administration & dosage*
  • Risk Factors
  • Sex Factors
  • Survival Rate


  • Piperidines
  • Pyrazoles
  • Pyrimidines
  • ibrutinib
  • Adenine