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Rituximab and Acalabrutinib for the Treatment of Newly Diagnosed B Cell Post-Transplant Lymphoproliferative Disorder

Trial Status: Active

This phase II trial studies how well rituximab and acalabrutinib work in treating newly diagnosed B cell post-transplant lymphoproliferative disorder (PTLD) patients. Rituximab is a monoclonal antibody that may interfere with the ability of tumor cells to grow and spread. Acalabrutinib is an inhibitor of bruton tyrosine kinase (BTK). BTK is important in B cells and plays a role in the development of PTLD. The purpose of this trial is to evaluate how effective rituximab and acalabrutinib are when given as a combination treatment for PTLD.

Inclusion Criteria

  • Subjects must have a biopsy confirmed newly diagnosed CD20 positive B cell PTLD. The histological diagnosis may include: * Plasmacytic hyperplasia PTLD * Infectious mononucleosis PTLD * Florid follicular hyperplasia PTLD * Polymorphic PTLD * Monomorphic PTLD (B- cell types) * Classical Hodgkin lymphoma PTLD
  • Eastern Cooperative Oncology Group (ECOG) performance status of 0-2. ECOG 3 will be permitted if the decline in performance status is due to lymphoma
  • Hemoglobin >= 8 gm/dL
  • Absolute neutrophil count >= 1000/mcL (unless documented bone marrow involvement with lymphoma)
  • Platelet count >= 50,000/mcL (unless there is documented bone marrow involvement with lymphoma)
  • Prothrombin time/international normalized ratio (INR) or partial thromboplastin time (aPTT) (in the absence of Lupus anticoagulant) < 2 x upper limit of normal (ULN)
  • Total bilirubin =< 1.5 x upper limit of normal (ULN)
  • Creatinine =< 2.5 x upper limit of normal (ULN) or creatinine clearance >= 40 ml/min using the Cockcroft-Gault equation
  • Alanine aminotransferase/aspartate aminotransferase (ALT/AST) < 2.5 x or =< 5 x ULN for patients with document hepatic involvement with lymphoma
  • Women of childbearing potential and men must agree to use highly effective methods of contraception during treatment and for 12 months after last dose of study treatment. Such methods include: * Combined (estrogen and progestogen containing) hormonal contraception associated with inhibition of ovulation, which may be oral, intravaginal, or transdermal * Progestogen-only hormonal contraception associated with inhibition of ovulation, which may be oral, injectable, or implantable * Intrauterine device (IUD) or intrauterine hormone-releasing system (IUS) * Bilateral tubal occlusion * Vasectomy of a female subject’s male partner (with medical assessment and confirmation of vasectomy surgical success * Sexual abstinence (only if refraining from heterosexual intercourse during the entire period of risk associated with the study treatments) * Women who have undergone surgical sterilization or who have been postmenopausal for at least 2 years are not considered to be of childbearing potential
  • Subjects must be willing and able to participate in all required evaluations and procedures in this study protocol including swallowing capsules without difficulty
  • Subjects must have the ability to understand the purpose and risks of the study and provide signed and dated informed consent and authorization to use protected health information
  • Prior malignancy (or any other malignancy that requires active treatment), except for adequately treated basal cell or squamous cell skin cancer, in situ cervical cancer early stage prostate cancer or other cancer from which the subject has been disease free for >= 3 years

Exclusion Criteria

  • Prior treatment with any BTK inhibitor
  • Subjects receiving any other investigational agents or participating in another therapeutic clinical trial
  • Subjects with active (treated or untreated) brain metastases/ central nervous system (CNS) disease (including but not limited to CNS PTLD) will be excluded from this clinical trial
  • Clinically significant cardiovascular disease such as uncontrolled or symptomatic arrhythmias, congestive heart failure, or myocardial infarction within 6 months of screening, or any class 3 or 4 cardiac disease as defined by the New York Heart Association Functional Classification. Subjects with controlled, asymptomatic atrial fibrillation during screening can enroll in the study
  • Has difficulty with or is unable to swallow oral medication, or has significant gastrointestinal disease that would limit absorption of oral medication
  • Known history of infection with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV). HIV-positive subjects on combination antiretroviral therapy are ineligible because of the potential for pharmacokinetic interactions with acalabrutinib
  • Patients with uncontrolled concurrent illness like active infection (e.g., bacterial, viral, or fungal) requiring IV antibiotics or psychiatric illness/social situations that would limit compliance with study requirements
  • Known history of drug-specific hypersensitivity or anaphylaxis to acalabrutinib or rituximab (including active product or excipient components)
  • Active bleeding, history of bleeding diathesis (e.g., hemophilia or von Willebrand disease)
  • Uncontrolled AIHA (autoimmune hemolytic anemia) or ITP (idiopathic thrombocytopenic purpura)
  • Requires treatment with a strong cytochrome P450 3A4 (CYP3A4) inhibitor/inducer
  • Requires or receiving anticoagulation with warfarin or equivalent vitamin K antagonists (e.g., phenprocoumon)
  • Requires treatment with proton pump inhibitors (e.g., omeprazole, esomeprazole, lansoprazole, dexlansoprazole, rabeprazole, or pantoprazole). Subjects receiving proton pump inhibitors who switch to H2-receptor antagonists or antacids are eligible for enrollment to this study
  • History of significant cerebrovascular disease or event, including stroke or intracranial hemorrhage, within 6 months before the first dose of study drug
  • Major surgical procedure within 28 days of first dose of study drug. Note: If a subject had major surgery, they must have recovered adequately from any toxicity and/or complications from the intervention before the first dose of study drug
  • Hepatitis B or C serologic status: subjects who are hepatitis B core antibody (antiHBc) positive and who are surface antigen negative will need to have a negative polymerase chain reaction (PCR). Those who are hepatitis B surface antigen (HbsAg) positive or hepatitis B PCR positive will be excluded. Subjects who are hepatitis C antibody positive will need to have a negative PCR result. Those who are hepatitis C PCR positive will be excluded
  • History of progressive multifocal leukoencephalopathy (PML)
  • Breastfeeding or pregnant. Pregnant or breastfeeding women are excluded from this study because it is unknown how acalabrutinib and rituximab can affect the fetus or infant. Rituximab can cross the placenta and is found in breast milk. Acalabrutinib has been found in the breast milk of animals and there is not significant data regarding its effect during pregnancy
  • Vaccination with live virus vaccines is not allowed within 4 weeks of study treatment of or during treatment
  • Active graft versus host disease (GVHD) requiring treatment
  • Patients with biopsy proven transplant organ rejection that is clinically significant as determined by transplant team


Case Comprehensive Cancer Center
Status: ACTIVE
Contact: Deepa Jagadeesh
Phone: 216-444-0857


I. To determine the overall response rate to combination treatment with rituximab and acalabrutinib in patients with newly diagnosed B-cell PTLD.


I. To determine the following in patients with PTLD treated with combination rituximab and acalabrutinib:

Ia. Complete response rate (CRR).

Ib. Partial response rate (PRR).

Ic. Duration of response (DOR).

Id. Progression free survival (PFS).

Ie. Overall survival (OS).

If. Time to treatment failure (TTF).

Ig. Safety of rituximab and acalabrutinib.


Patients receive acalabrutinib orally (PO) twice daily (BID) on days 1-28. Cycles repeat every 28 days for up to 4 cycles in the absence of disease progression or unacceptable toxicity. Patients also receive rituximab intravenously (IV) or subcutaneously (SC) on days 1, 8, 15, and 22 of cycle 1. Patients with complete response receive an additional cycle of rituximab and patients with a partial response receive 3 additional cycles of rituximab in the absence of disease progression or unacceptable toxicity.

After completion of study treatment, patients are followed up at 6, 12, 18, 24, and 36 months.

Trial Phase Phase II

Trial Type Treatment

Lead Organization
Case Comprehensive Cancer Center

Principal Investigator
Deepa Jagadeesh

  • Primary ID CASE3419
  • Secondary IDs NCI-2020-07141
  • ID NCT04337827