Clinical characteristics and outcomes of Richter transformation: experience of 204 patients from a single center.
ABSTRACT: The natural history, prognostication and optimal treatment of Richter transformation developed from chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) are not well defined. We report the clinical characteristics and outcomes of a large series of biopsy-confirmed Richter transformation (diffuse large B-cell lymphoma or high grade B-cell lymphoma, n=204) cases diagnosed from 1993 to 2018. After a median follow up of 67.0 months, the median overall survival (OS) was 12.0 months. Patients who received no prior treatment for CLL had significantly better OS (median 46.3 vs. 7.8 months; P<0.001). Patients with elevated lactate dehydrogenase (median 6.2 vs. 39.9 months; P<0.0001) or TP53 disruption (median 8.3 vs. 12.8 months; P=0.046) had worse OS than those without. Immunoglobulin heavy chain variable region gene mutation, cell of origin, Myc/Bcl-2 double expression and MYC/BCL2/BCL6 double-/triple-hit status were not associated with OS. In multivariable Cox regression, elevated lactate dehydrogenase [Hazard ratio (HR) 2.3, 95% Confidence Interval (CI): 1.3-4.1; P=0.01], prior CLL treatment (HR 2.0, 95%CI: 1.2-3.5; P=0.01), and older age (HR 1.03, 95%CI: 1.01-1.05; P=0.01) were associated with worse OS. Twenty-four (12%) patients underwent stem cell transplant (20 autologous and 4 allogeneic), and had a median post-transplant survival of 55.4 months. In conclusion, the overall outcome of Richter transformation is poor. Richter transformation developed in patients with untreated CLL has significantly better survival. Stem cell transplant may benefit select patients.
Project description:Recent approvals of several oral targeted agents have revolutionized chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) therapy. However, CLL patients continue to progress; particularly, 4% to 20% of previously treated CLL patients undergo transformation into high-grade lymphoma. Richter transformation is defined as a transformation of CLL into aggressive lymphoma, most commonly diffuse large B-cell lymphoma. These patients typically have poor response to traditional chemotherapy used to treat de novo diffuse large B-cell lymphoma and similar or shorter overall survival (median 3-11 months) in the era of novel agents. Here, I review the contemporary literature on Richter transformation, particularly in the context of novel agents used in CLL, and discuss the management approach for these patients.
Project description:Ibrutinib is a highly effective targeted therapy for chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL). However, ibrutinib must be discontinued in a subset of patients due to progressive CLL or transformation to aggressive lymphoma (Richter transformation). Transformation occurs early in the course of therapy and has an extremely poor prognosis. Thus, identification of prognostic markers associated with transformation is of utmost importance. Near-tetraploidy (4 copies of most chromosomes within a cell) has been reported in various lymphomas, but its incidence and significance in CLL has not been described. Using fluorescence in situ hybridization, we detected near-tetraploidy in 9 of 297 patients with CLL prior to beginning ibrutinib treatment on 1 of 4 clinical trials (3.0%; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.4%-5.7%). Near-tetraploidy was associated with aggressive disease characteristics: Rai stage 3/4 (P = .03), deletion 17p (P = .03), and complex karyotype (P = .01). Near-tetraploidy was also associated with ibrutinib discontinuation due to Richter transformation (P < .0001), but not due to progressive CLL (P = .41). Of the 9 patients with near-tetraploidy, 6 had Richter transformation with diffuse large B-cell lymphoma. In a multivariable model, near-tetraploidy (hazard ratio [HR], 8.66; 95% CI, 3.83-19.59; P < .0001) and complex karyotype (HR, 4.77; 95% CI, 1.42-15.94; P = .01) were independent risk factors for discontinuing ibrutinib due to transformation. Our results suggest that near-tetraploidy is a potential prognostic marker for Richter transformation to assess in patients going on ibrutinib.
Project description:Patients with chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) who progress to Richter transformation (RT) have a poor prognosis. Multi-agent chemotherapy regimens do not have good response rates. There are few case reports on the use of ibrutinib in RT. Here, we present a patient who was heavily pretreated for CLL, including allogeneic stem cell transplant, and progressed to RT. She had a mixed response to multi-agent chemotherapy and was started on ibrutinib. She had a complete response for 16 months on single-agent ibrutinib with minimal toxicity.
Project description:The aim of this study was to investigate long-term outcome following first-line therapy in consecutive chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) patients in a well-defined geographic area: Sweden. All patients diagnosed with CLL (2007-2013) (n=3672) were identified from national registries, screening of patient files identified all (100%) treated first line (n=1053) and for those, an in-depth analysis was performed. End points were overall response rate, progression-free survival (PFS), overall survival (OS), and safety. Median age was 71 years; 53% had Rai stage III-IV and 97% had performance status grade 0-2. Fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH) was performed in 57% of patients: 15% had del(17p). Chlorambucil + prednisone was used in 39% (5% also received rituximab). Fludarabine+cyclophosphamide+rituximab or fludarabine+cyclophosphamide was used in 43% and bendamustine + rituximab in 6%. Overall response rate was 64%; chlorambucil 43%, fludarabine+cyclophosphamide+rituximab 84%, fludarabine+cyclophosphamide 75% and bendamustine + rituximab 75%. Median PFS and OS was 24 and 58 months, respectively, both were significantly associated (multivariate analysis) with type of treatment, del(17p), performance status, gender, age and geographical region (OS only). Chlorambucil-treated patients had a median PFS and OS of only 9 and 33 months, respectively. Chlorambucil usage declined gradually throughout the study period, but one-third of patients still received chlorambucil + rituximab in 2013. Infections ≥grade III were significantly associated with treatment; chlorambucil 19% versus fludarabine+cyclophosphamide+rituximab 30%. Richter transformation occurred in 5.5% of the patients, equally distributed across therapies. This is the largest retrospective, real-world cohort of consecutive first-line treated CLL patients with a complete follow up. In elderly patients, an unmet need for more effective, well-tolerated therapies was identified.
Project description:The role of positron emission tomography/computed tomography (PET/CT) in identifying Richter Syndrome (RS) is well established, while its impact on the survival of patients with chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) has been less explored. The clinical characteristics and PET/CT data of 40 patients with a biopsy-proven CLL who required frontline chemoimmunotherapy, FCR (fludarabine, cyclophosphamide, rituximab) in 20 patients, BR (bendamustine, rituximab) in 20, were retrospectively analyzed. Standardized uptake volume (SUV<sub>max</sub>) values ? 5 were observed more frequently in patients with deletion 11q (<i>p</i> = 0.006) and biopsies characterized by a rate of Ki67 positive cells ? 30% (<i>p</i> = 0.02). In the multivariate analysis, the presence of large and confluent PCs emerged as the only factor with a negative impact on progression-free survival (PFS), and overall survival (OS). Deletion 11q also revealed a significant and independent effect on PFS. SUV<sub>max</sub> values ? 5 showed no statistical impact on PFS while in multivariate analysis, they revealed a significant adverse impact on OS (median survival probability not reached vs. 56 months; <i>p</i> = 0.002). Moreover, patients with higher SUV<sub>max</sub> values more frequently developed Richter Syndrome (<i>p</i> = 0.015). Our results show that higher SUV<sub>max</sub> values identify CLL patients with a pronounced rate of proliferating cells in the lymph-node compartment, inferior survival, and an increased risk of developing RS.
Project description:<h4>Background</h4>IGHV mutation status is a crucial prognostic biomarker for CLL. In the present study, we investigated the transcriptomic signatures associating with IGHV mutation status and CLL prognosis.<h4>Methods</h4>The co-expression modules and hub genes correlating with IGHV status, were identified using the GSE28654, by 'WGCNA' package and R software (version 4.0.2). The over-representation analysis was performed to reveal enriched cell pathways for genes of correlating modules. Then 9 external cohorts were used to validate the correlation of hub genes expression with IGHV status or clinical features (treatment response, transformation to Richter syndrome, etc.). Moreover, to elucidate the significance of hub genes on disease course and prognosis of CLL patients, the Kaplan-Meier analysis for the OS and TTFT of were performed between subgroups dichotomized by the median expression value of individual hub genes.<h4>Results</h4>2 co-expression modules and 9 hub genes ((FCRL1/FCRL2/HELQ/EGR3LPL/LDOC1/ZNF667/SOWAHC/SEPTIN10) correlating with IGHV status were identified by WGCNA, and validated by external datasets. The modules were found to be enriched in NF-kappaB, HIF-1 and other important pathways, involving cell proliferation and apoptosis. The expression of hub genes was revealed to be significantly different, not only between CLL and normal B cell, but also between various types of lymphoid neoplasms. HELQ expression was found to be related with response of immunochemotherapy treatment significantly (p?=?0.0413), while HELQ and ZNF667 were expressed differently between stable CLL and Richter syndrome patients (p?<?0.0001 and p?=?0.0278, respectively). By survival analysis of subgroups, EGR3 expression was indicated to be significantly associated with TTFT by 2 independent cohorts (GSE39671, p?=?0.0311; GSE22762, p?=?0.0135). While the expression of HELQ and EGR3 was found to be associated with OS (p?=?0.0291 and 0.0114 respectively).The Kras, Hedgehog and IL6-JAK-STAT3 pathways were found to be associating with the expression of hub genes, resulting from GSEA.<h4>Conclusions</h4>The expression of HELQ and EGR3 were correlated with IGHV mutation status in CLL patients. Additionally, the expression of HELQ/EGR3 were prognostic markers for CLL associating with targetable cell signaling pathways.
Project description:Chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) patients progressed early on ibrutinib often develop Richter transformation (RT) with a short survival of about 4 months. Preclinical studies suggest that programmed death 1 (PD-1) pathway is critical to inhibit immune surveillance in CLL. This phase 2 study was designed to test the efficacy and safety of pembrolizumab, a humanized PD-1-blocking antibody, at a dose of 200 mg every 3 weeks in relapsed and transformed CLL. Twenty-five patients including 16 relapsed CLL and 9 RT (all proven diffuse large cell lymphoma) patients were enrolled, and 60% received prior ibrutinib. Objective responses were observed in 4 out of 9 RT patients (44%) and in 0 out of 16 CLL patients (0%). All responses were observed in RT patients who had progression after prior therapy with ibrutinib. After a median follow-up time of 11 months, the median overall survival in the RT cohort was 10.7 months, but was not reached in RT patients who progressed after prior ibrutinib. Treatment-related grade 3 or above adverse events were reported in 15 (60%) patients and were manageable. Analyses of pretreatment tumor specimens from available patients revealed increased expression of PD-ligand 1 (PD-L1) and a trend of increased expression in PD-1 in the tumor microenvironment in patients who had confirmed responses. Overall, pembrolizumab exhibited selective efficacy in CLL patients with RT. The results of this study are the first to demonstrate the benefit of PD-1 blockade in CLL patients with RT, and could change the landscape of therapy for RT patients if further validated. This trial was registered at www.clinicaltrials.gov as #NCT02332980.
Project description:Allogeneic hematopoietic cell transplantation (alloHCT) can cure previously treated high-risk chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) patients if they are suitable for transplant through the graft-versus-leukemia effect. However, since the emergence of targeted therapies, the role of alloHCT for high-risk CLL is less clear. To address this question, we evaluated 108 high-risk CLL patients who underwent alloHCT from 2010 to 2018. Thirty patients from the period of 2013 to 2018 received targeted therapy prior to alloHCT. The median age for the targeted therapy cohort was 60 years (range, 30-71 years), and 20% and 73% had complete and partial remission, respectively: 76% had del(17p), 46.2% had 5 or more cytogenetic abnormalities, and 78.9% were IGHV unmutated. The median number of prior therapies was 4 (range, 1-9). With a median follow-up time of 36 months (range, 10-72 months), the 3-year overall (OS) and progression-free survival (PFS) were 87% and 69%, respectively. The 3-year cumulative incidence of nonrelapse mortality and relapse was 7% and 24%, respectively. For the control cohort of 78 patients who underwent alloHCT from 2010 to 2014 and received only chemoimmunotherapy prior to transplant, the 3-year OS and PFS were 69% and 58%, respectively. Patients treated with targeted therapy prior to alloHCT had a significantly higher number of circulating T and B cells and a lower ratio of CD4 regulatory T cells to CD4 conventional T cells early after transplant. In summary, despite multiple high-risk features, the clinical outcome of CLL patients who receive targeted therapy prior to transplant is excellent and alloHCT should be offered while the disease is under control.
Project description:Fludarabine, cyclophosphamide and rituximab (FCR) was compared to bendamustine and rituximab (BR) in an international, randomized, open label, phase 3 trial in 561 previously untreated, fit patients with chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) without del (17p). Primary endpoint was progression free survival (PFS). The final primary endpoint analysis after 37.1 months median follow up failed to show the non-inferiority of BR as compared with FCR. With extended median follow up of 58.2?months, median PFS was 42.3?months in BR-treated patients versus 57.6?months for FCR-treated patients (Hazard Ratio [HR] 1.593; 95% CI 1.271-1.996; p?<?0.0001). For patients?>?65?years, median PFS was 48.5?months with BR versus 57.9?months with FCR without reaching statistical significance (HR 1.352; 95% CI 0.912-2.006; p?=?0.134). Median OS was not reached for both arms with 5-year OS rates of 80.1% vs 80.9%, respectively (HR 1.108; 95% CI 0.755-1.627; p?=?0.599). No statistically significant difference was found in the time to secondary malignancy between the 2 groups (at 5?years, 86.6% free from secondary malignancies in the BR group vs 83.8% in the FCR group [HR 0.801; 95% CI 0.507-1.267; p?=?0.344]). In patients >65?years secondary neoplasia occurred more frequently after FCR treatment [28 of 86 (32.6%) patients] as compared with BR [18 of 107 (16.8%) patients; p?=?0.011]. Health-related quality of life was similar in both treatments. Despite the improved PFS for FCR, OS did not differ. These results also suggest an increase in secondary neoplasia associated with FCR in elderly fit CLL patients.