Efficacy results of a phase 2 trial of first-line idelalisib plus ofatumumab in chronic lymphocytic leukemia

Blood Adv. 2019 Apr 9;3(7):1167-1174. doi: 10.1182/bloodadvances.2018030221.


PI3 kinase (PI3K) activity is critical for survival of neoplastic B cells in patients with chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL). Blockade of PI3K signaling with idelalisib is effective for the treatment of relapsed CLL in combination with the anti-CD20 antibody ofatumumab. In this single-arm, open-label, nonrandomized phase 2 study, we investigated the efficacy and safety of idelalisib with ofatumumab in 27 patients with treatment-naïve CLL in need of therapy. Patients were planned to receive idelalisib for 2 monthly cycles, then idelalisib and ofatumumab for 6 cycles, followed by idelalisib indefinitely. The study was closed early and all patients ceased therapy when an increased rate of death as a result of infection was observed on other first-line idelalisib trials. Median time on therapy was 8.1 months, and median duration of follow-up was 39.7 months. We previously reported high rates of hepatotoxicity in a smaller cohort of patients in this trial; toxicities necessitated therapy discontinuation in 15 patients after a median of 7.7 months. The most frequent grade ≥3 adverse events were transaminitis (52% of patients), neutropenia (33%), and colitis/diarrhea (15%). The best overall response rate (ORR) was 88.9%, including 1 complete response. Median progression-free survival (PFS) was 23 months (95% confidence interval [CI], 18-36 months); 11 patients have not yet required second-line therapy. Idelalisib and ofatumumab demonstrated an unacceptable safety profile in the first-line setting, which resulted in a short PFS despite a high ORR. Future development of PI3K inhibitors for use in treatment-naïve CLL will require novel approaches to mitigate toxicities. This trial was registered at www.clinicaltrials.gov as #NCT02135133.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial, Phase II
  • Multicenter Study
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Antibodies, Monoclonal, Humanized / administration & dosage*
  • Antineoplastic Combined Chemotherapy Protocols / adverse effects
  • Antineoplastic Combined Chemotherapy Protocols / therapeutic use*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Leukemia, Lymphocytic, Chronic, B-Cell / complications
  • Leukemia, Lymphocytic, Chronic, B-Cell / drug therapy*
  • Leukemia, Lymphocytic, Chronic, B-Cell / mortality
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Purines / administration & dosage*
  • Quinazolinones / administration & dosage*
  • Safety-Based Drug Withdrawals
  • Survival Analysis
  • Treatment Outcome


  • Antibodies, Monoclonal, Humanized
  • Purines
  • Quinazolinones
  • ofatumumab
  • idelalisib

Associated data

  • ClinicalTrials.gov/NCT02135133