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Phase II Venetoclax, Obinutuzumab and Bendamustine in High Tumor Burden Follicular Lymphoma as Front Line Therapy

Trial Status: Closed to Accrual

Patients with high tumor burden, low grade follicular lymphoma that has never been treated, will receive venetoclax in combination with obinutuzumab and bendamustine. Venetoclax is an oral Bcl-2 family protein inhibitor. It targets the B-cell lymphoma 2 (BCL-2) protein, which supports cancer cell growth and is overexpressed in many patients with follicular lymphoma. Venetoclax may help to slow down the growth of cancer or may cause cancer cells to die. The purpose of this study is to see whether adding venetoclax to obinutuzumab and bendamustine improves the response (the tumor shrinks or disappears) in patients with follicular lymphoma. As of 9 / 5 / 2018, a higher than expected incidence of tumor lysis syndrome (TLS) was experienced among patients receiving venetoclax, obinutuzumab and bendamustine on Cycle 1, Day 1 of treatment. TLS is caused by the fast breakdown of cancer cells. These patients developed an increase in some of their blood tests (uric acid, phosphorus, potassium and / or creatinine). They received a medication called rasburicase and continued with treatment. It is unclear if the TLS was due to the venetoclax or the standard treatment of obinutuzumab and bendamustine. For the remaining patients, venetoclax will start on Cycle 2, Day 1 (previously Cycle 1, Day 1). As of 9 / 16 / 2021, additional maintenance therapy has been suspended for those patients who remain on study. These patients will not receive any further treatment and will move on to the two year survival follow-up.

Inclusion Criteria

  • - Patient must have a histologically confirmed (biopsy-proven) diagnosis of follicular B-cell non-Hodgkin lymphoma (WHO classification: follicular center grades 1, 2, and 3a [3b patients are not eligible]), with no evidence of transformation to large cell histology. - Patient must meet criteria for High Tumor Burden (higher risk) as defined by either the Groupe D'Etude des Lymphomes Follicularies (GELF) criteria [at least one criterion] OR the follicular lymphoma international prognostic index (FLIPI) [score of 3, 4, or 5]. - Patient must have Stage II, III or IV disease. - Baseline measurements and evaluations (PET/ CT) must be obtained within 10 weeks of randomization to the study. Patient must have at least one objective measurable disease parameter. - Age ≥ 18 years. - Eastern Cooperative Oncology Group (ECOG) performance status of 0-2. - Ability to understand and willingness to sign Institutional Review Board (IRB)-approved informed consent. - Willing to provide mandatory tissue samples (if sufficient tissue available) for research purposes. - Adequate organ function as measured by the following criteria: - Absolute Neutrophil Count (ANC) ≥ 1000/mm³ - Hemoglobin ≥ 8 g/dL - Platelets ˃75,000/mm³ - Creatinine clearance ≥ 50 mL/min, calculated with the use of 24-hour creatinine clearance or by Cockcroft-Gault formula - Total Bilirubin ≤ 1.5x Upper Limit of Normal (ULN) or ≤ 3x ULN for patients with documented Gilbert's syndrome - Aspartate aminotransferase (AST)/ alanine aminotransferase (ALT) ≤ 2.5x ULN - Alkaline Phosphatase <5x ULN - All females of childbearing potential (not surgically sterilized and between menarche and 1 year post menopause) must have a blood or urine test to rule out pregnancy within 2 weeks prior to registration. - Women must not be pregnant or breastfeeding. - Patient must have had no prior chemotherapy, radiotherapy or immunotherapy for lymphoma. For purposes of this trial, prednisone or other corticosteroids used for non-lymphomatous conditions will not be considered as prior chemotherapy. In addition, a prior/recent short course (<2 weeks) of steroids for symptom relief of lymphoma-related symptoms will not make a patient ineligible. - Patient must have no recent history of malignancy except for adequately treated basal cell or squamous cell skin cancer, Stage I melanoma of the skin, or in situ cervical cancer. Individuals in documented remission without treatment for ≥ 2 years prior to enrollment may be included at the discretion of the investigator. - Patient must have no active, uncontrolled infections. - Patients must be tested for hepatitis B virus (HBV), hepatitis B surface antigen (HBsAg+) and hepatitis C (HCV) antibody within 6 weeks of registration. Patients who are chronic carriers of HBV with positive HBsAg+ and positive HCV serology are excluded, as chemotherapy and B-cell depleting therapy have been associated with virus reactivation and fulminant hepatitis. NOTE: Patients with a past or resolved HBV infection (defined as the presence of hepatitis B core antibody [anti-HBc] and absence of HBsAg) may be included if HBV DNA is undetectable. If enrolled, patients must be willing to undergo monthly HBV DNA testing. Patients with positive HCV antibody must be negative for HCV by polymerase chain reaction (PCR) to be eligible for study participation. - HIV positive patients are not excluded, but to enroll, must meet all of the below criteria: - HIV is sensitive to antiretroviral therapy. - Must be willing to take effective antiretroviral therapy if indicated. - No history of CD4 prior to or at the time of lymphoma diagnosis <300 cells/mm³. - No history of AIDS-defining conditions. - If on antiretroviral therapy, must not be taking zidovudine or stavudine. - Must be willing to take prophylaxis for Pneumocystis jiroveci pneumonia during therapy and until at least 2 months following the completion of therapy or until the CD4 cells recover to over 250 cells/mm³, whichever occurs later. - Evidence of significant, uncontrolled concomitant diseases that could affect compliance with the protocol or interpretation of results or that could increase risk to the patient. - No major surgery within 2 weeks prior to cycle 1, other than for diagnosis. - A condition that precludes oral route of administration (venetoclax). - No known allergies to both xanthine oxidase inhibitors and rasburicase. - Patient must not require the use of warfarin (because of potential drug-drug interactions that may potentially increase the exposure of warfarin). Blood thinners of other classes are permitted. - Patient may not receive the following agents within 7 days prior to the first dose of venetoclax: - Strong and moderate CYP3A inhibitors - Strong and moderate CYP3A inducers - Consumed grapefruit, grapefruit products, Seville oranges (including marmalade containing Seville oranges), or star fruit within 3 days prior to the first dose of venetoclax. - Patient must not have serious medical or psychiatric illness likely to interfere with participation in this clinical study.


Emory Saint Joseph's Hospital
Status: ACTIVE
Contact: Jonathon B. Cohen
Emory University Hospital / Winship Cancer Institute
Status: ACTIVE


Johns Hopkins University / Sidney Kimmel Cancer Center
Status: ACTIVE


Mayo Clinic in Rochester
Status: ACTIVE


Saint Louis
Siteman Cancer Center at Washington University

New Jersey

New Brunswick
Rutgers Cancer Institute of New Jersey


Fox Chase Cancer Center


Vanderbilt University / Ingram Cancer Center


University of Virginia Cancer Center
Contact: Craig Anthony Portell


University of Wisconsin Carbone Cancer Center

Follicular lymphoma (FL) is the most common low grade lymphoma comprising 70% of low-grade

non-Hodgkin's lymphoma (NHL) and 22% of all cases of NHL. The survival rates for patients

with indolent NHL remained unchanged from the 1950s through the early 1990s, but recent

evidence suggests that outcomes continue to improve. High-risk patients with FL, defined as

having advanced stage and high tumor burden have significantly shorter progression free

survival despite significant advances.

This is an open-label phase II study of venetoclax in combination with obinutuzumab and

bendamustine. Patients will receive induction therapy with obinutuzumab and bendamustine for

six cycles (1 cycle = 28 days). Venetoclax will start with 2nd cycle of induction therapy

(previously started with cycle 1). There will be a formal, detailed toxicity evaluation after

21 patients complete 3 cycles of treatment.

Patients who achieve partial response or stable disease will receive therapy with

obinutuzumab every 2 months for 12 cycles and venetoclax every month for 24 cycles. Patients

who achieve a complete response will receive obinutuzumab every 2 months for 12 cycles.

Patients with progressive disease will not continue onto the maintenance arm.

Tumor assessments will be performed approximately every 12 weeks during induction and every 6

months during maintenance therapy.

Mandatory pre-treatment tumor tissue sample (i.e., obtained during a previous procedure or

biopsy) will be required for research (if sufficient tissue is available). Optional tumor

biopsy samples obtained during treatment or post-treatment will also be requested for


Trial Phase Phase II

Trial Type Treatment

Lead Organization

  • Primary ID PrE0403
  • Secondary IDs NCI-2017-01579, ML39161
  • ID NCT03113422