Purpose: Patients with indolent non-Hodgkin lymphoma typically respond well to first-line immunochemotherapy. At relapse, single-agent rituximab is commonly administered. Data suggest the immunomodulatory agent lenalidomide could increase the activity of rituximab.
Methods: A phase III, multicenter, randomized trial of lenalidomide plus rituximab versus placebo plus rituximab was conducted in patients with relapsed and/or refractory follicular or marginal zone lymphoma. Patients received lenalidomide or placebo for 12 cycles plus rituximab once per week for 4 weeks in cycle 1 and day 1 of cycles 2 through 5. The primary end point was progression-free survival per independent radiology review.
Results: A total of 358 patients were randomly assigned to lenalidomide plus rituximab (n = 178) or placebo plus rituximab (n = 180). Infections (63% v 49%), neutropenia (58% v 23%), and cutaneous reactions (32% v 12%) were more common with lenalidomide plus rituximab. Grade 3 or 4 neutropenia (50% v 13%) and leukopenia (7% v 2%) were higher with lenalidomide plus rituximab; no other grade 3 or 4 adverse event differed by 5% or more between groups. Progression-free survival was significantly improved for lenalidomide plus rituximab versus placebo plus rituximab, with a hazard ratio of 0.46 (95% CI, 0.34 to 0.62; P < .001) and median duration of 39.4 months (95% CI, 22.9 months to not reached) versus 14.1 months (95% CI, 11.4 to 16.7 months), respectively.
Conclusion: Lenalidomide improved efficacy of rituximab in patients with recurrent indolent lymphoma, with an acceptable safety profile.
Trial registration: ClinicalTrials.gov NCT01938001.