Zanubrutinib for the treatment of patients with Waldenström macroglobulinemia: 3 years of follow-up
Inhibitors of Bruton’s tyrosine kinase (BTK) have established therapeutic activity in patients with Waldenström macroglobulinemia (WM). Zanubrutinib, a potent and selective BTK inhibitor, was evaluated in a phase 1/2 study in patients with WM who were either treatment-naïve (TN) or had relapsed/refractory (R/R) disease. Patients had disease requiring treatment per International Workshop on Waldenström Macroglobulinemia (IWWM) criteria. Treatment was 160 mg of oral zanubrutinib twice daily (n = 50) or 320 mg once daily (n = 23). Efficacy endpoints included overall response rate (ORR) and very good partial response/complete response (VGPR/CR) rates per IWWM-6 criteria (with modification of VGPR definition published previously). Between September 2014 and March 2018, 77 patients (24 TN and 53 R/R) began treatment. At a median follow-up of 36.0 months for patients with R/R disease and 23.5 months for TN, 72.7% remained on treatment. Reasons for treatment discontinuation included any adverse events in 13.0% of patients (1 treatment related), disease progression (10.4%), and other (3.9%). The ORR was 95.9%, and the VGPR/CR rate was 45.2%, which increased over time: 20.5% at 6 months, 32.9% at 12 months, and 43.8% at 24 months. Estimated 3-year progression-free survival rate was 80.5%, and overall survival rate was 84.8%. Adverse events of interest included contusion (32.5%, all grade 1), neutropenia (18.2%), major hemorrhage (3.9%), atrial fibrillation/flutter (5.2%), and grade 3 diarrhea (2.6%). Long-term treatment with single-agent zanubrutinib resulted in deep and durable responses in some patients with WM. The safety profile of long-term zanubrutinib therapy in these patients was acceptable. This trial was registered at www.clinicaltrials.gov as #NCT02343120.