Ibrutinib Plus Rituximab Versus Placebo Plus Rituximab for Waldenström's Macroglobulinemia: Final Analysis From the Randomized Phase III iNNOVATE Study

J Clin Oncol. 2022 Jan 1;40(1):52-62. doi: 10.1200/JCO.21.00838. Epub 2021 Oct 4.


Purpose: The double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled phase III iNNOVATE study showed sustained efficacy of ibrutinib-rituximab in Waldenström's macroglobulinemia (WM). Here, we present the final analysis from iNNOVATE.

Methods: Patients had confirmed symptomatic WM, either previously untreated or previously treated; patients with prior rituximab had at least a minor response to their last rituximab-based regimen. Patients were randomly assigned to once-daily ibrutinib 420 mg plus rituximab or placebo plus rituximab (n = 75 per arm). The primary end point was progression-free survival (PFS). Secondary end points included response rate, time to next treatment, hemoglobin improvement, overall survival, and safety.

Results: With a median follow-up of 50 (range, 0.5-63) months, median (95% CI) PFS was not reached (57.7 months to not evaluable) with ibrutinib-rituximab versus 20.3 months (13.0 to 27.6) with placebo-rituximab (hazard ratio, 0.250; P < .0001). PFS benefit was regardless of prior treatment status, MYD88 and CXCR4 mutation status, or key patient characteristics. Higher response rates (partial response or better) were observed with ibrutinib-rituximab (76% v 31% with placebo-rituximab; P < .0001) and were sustained over time. Median time to next treatment was not reached with ibrutinib-rituximab versus 18 months with placebo-rituximab. More patients receiving ibrutinib-rituximab versus placebo-rituximab had sustained hemoglobin improvement (77% v 43%; P < .0001). Median overall survival was not reached in either arm. Ibrutinib-rituximab maintained a manageable safety profile; the prevalence of grade ≥ 3 adverse events of clinical interest generally decreased over time.

Conclusion: In the final analysis of iNNOVATE with a median follow-up of 50 months, ibrutinib-rituximab showed ongoing superiority across clinical outcomes in patients with WM regardless of MYD88 or CXCR4 mutation status, prior treatment, and key patient characteristics.

Trial registration: ClinicalTrials.gov NCT02165397.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial, Phase III
  • Comparative Study
  • Multicenter Study
  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adenine / adverse effects
  • Adenine / analogs & derivatives*
  • Adenine / therapeutic use
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Antineoplastic Combined Chemotherapy Protocols / adverse effects
  • Antineoplastic Combined Chemotherapy Protocols / therapeutic use*
  • Biomarkers, Tumor / genetics
  • Double-Blind Method
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Mutation
  • Myeloid Differentiation Factor 88 / genetics
  • Piperidines / adverse effects
  • Piperidines / therapeutic use*
  • Progression-Free Survival
  • Receptors, CXCR4 / genetics
  • Rituximab / adverse effects
  • Rituximab / therapeutic use*
  • Time Factors
  • Waldenstrom Macroglobulinemia / diagnosis
  • Waldenstrom Macroglobulinemia / drug therapy*
  • Waldenstrom Macroglobulinemia / genetics
  • Waldenstrom Macroglobulinemia / mortality


  • Biomarkers, Tumor
  • CXCR4 protein, human
  • MYD88 protein, human
  • Myeloid Differentiation Factor 88
  • Piperidines
  • Receptors, CXCR4
  • ibrutinib
  • Rituximab
  • Adenine

Associated data

  • ClinicalTrials.gov/NCT02165397