Purpose: Based on the potential for ipilimumab (I) to augment T-cell activation, we hypothesize that ipilimumab would augment the efficacy of rituximab (R) in patients with relapsed/refractory (R/R) CD20+non-Hodgkin's lymphoma (NHL). This phase I study aimed to identify a recommended phase 2 dose, document toxicities, and preliminarily assess efficacy and potential predictive biomarkers.
Patients and methods: Thirty-three patients with R/R CD20+B-cell lymphoma received R at 375 mg/m2weekly for 4 weeks and I at 3 mg/kg on day 1 and every 3 weeks for four doses. Responding patients went on to maintenance with each agent given every 12 weeks. To facilitate correlative analysis, the expansion phase randomized patients to simultaneous R+I versus R with I delayed 2 weeks.
Results: Toxicity was manageable; no dose-limiting toxicity was observed at the doses studied. When considering the entire cohort, efficacy was modest, with an objective response rate (ORR) of 24% and median progression-free survival (PFS) of 2.6 months. However, in follicular lymphoma patients, the ORR was 58% with a median PFS of 5.6 months. The randomized comparison of R with R+I demonstrated that R+I resulted in more effective B-cell depletion (BCD). Both B-cell depletion and the ratio of CD45RA-regulatory T cell (Treg) to Treg were associated with response at all time points.
Conclusions: The combination of R+I has manageable toxicity and encouraging efficacy in R/R follicular lymphoma. The ratio of CD45RA-Tregs to total Tregs, and peripheral BCD should be studied further as potential predictors of response.
©2019 American Association for Cancer Research.