Ibrutinib, a Bruton's tyrosine kinase inhibitor is approved for relapsed/refractory and del(17p)/TP53 mutated chronic lymphocytic leukemia. Discrepancies between clinical trials and routine health-care are commonly observed in oncology. Herein we report real-world results for 95 poor prognosis Swedish patients treated with ibrutinib in a compassionate use program. Ninety-five consecutive patients (93 chronic lymphocytic leukemia, 2 small lymphocytic leukemia) were included in the study between May 2014 and May 2015. The median age was 69 years. 63% had del(17p)/TP53 mutation, 65% had Rai stage III/IV, 28% had lymphadenopathy ≥10cm. Patients received ibrutinib 420 mg once daily until progression. At a median follow-up of 10.2 months, the overall response rate was 84% (consistent among subgroups) and 77% remained progression-free. Progression-free survival and overall survival were significantly shorter in patients with del(17p)/TP53 mutation (P=0.017 and P=0.027, log-rank test); no other factor was significant in Cox proportional regression hazards model. Ibrutinib was well tolerated. Hematomas occurred in 46% of patients without any major bleeding. Seven patients had Richter's transformation. This real-world analysis on consecutive chronic lymphocytic leukemia patients from a well-defined geographical region shows the efficacy and safety of ibrutinib to be similar to that of pivotal trials. Yet, del(17p)/TP53 mutation remains a therapeutic challenge. Since not more than half of our patients would have qualified for the pivotal ibrutinib trial (RESONATE), our study emphasizes that real-world results should be carefully considered in future with regards to new agents and new indications in chronic lymphocytic leukemia.
2016. Vol. 101, no 12