Rituximab and Bendamustine Hydrochloride, Rituximab and Ibrutinib, or Ibrutinib Alone in Treating Older Patients With Previously Untreated Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia

  • Study type:

    Interventional What is this?

    Describes the nature of a clinical study. Types include:

    • Observational study — observes people and measures outcomes without affecting results.
    • Interventional study (clinical trial) — studies new tests, treatments, drugs, surgical procedures or devices.
    • Medical records research — uses historical information collected from medical records of large groups of people to study how diseases progress and which treatments and surgeries work best.
  • Study phase:

    III What is this?

    During the early phases (phases 1 and 2), researchers assess safety, side effects, optimal dosages and risks/benefits. In the later phase (phase 3), researchers study whether the treatment works better than the current standard therapy. They also compare the safety of the new treatment with that of current treatments. Phase 3 trials include large numbers of people to make sure that the result is valid. There are also less common very early (phase 0) and later (phase 4) phases. Phase 0 trials are small trials that help researchers decide if a new agent should be tested in a phase 1 trial. Phase 4 trials look at long-term safety and effectiveness, after a new treatment has been approved and is on the market.

Study IDs

  • Site IRB:

    • Scottsdale/Phoenix, Arizona: 13-008752
    • Rochester, Minnesota: 13-008752
  • NCT ID:

  • Sponsor Protocol Number:


About this study

This randomized phase III trial studies rituximab with bendamustine hydrochloride or ibrutinib to see how well they work compared to ibrutinib alone in treating older patients with previously untreated chronic lymphocytic leukemia. Monoclonal antibodies, such as rituximab, can block cancer growth in difference ways. Some block the ability of cancer cells to grow and spread. Others find cancer cells and help kill them or carry cancer-killing substances to them. Drugs used in chemotherapy, such as bendamustine hydrochloride, work in different ways to stop the growth of cancer cells, either by killing the cells or by stopping them from dividing. Ibrutinib may stop the growth of cancer cells by blocking some of the enzymes needed for cell growth. It is not yet know whether rituximab with bendamustine hydrochloride is more effective than rituximab and ibrutinib or ibrutinib alone in treating chronic lymphocytic leukemia.

Participation eligibility

Participant eligibility includes age, gender, type and stage of disease, and previous treatments or health concerns. Guidelines differ from study to study, and identify who can or cannot participate. If you need assistance understanding the eligibility criteria, please contact the study team.

See eligibility criteria

Inclusion Criteria:

  • Patients must be diagnosed with CLL in accordance with International Workshop on Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia (IWCLL) 2008 criteria that includes all of the following:
    • ≥ 5 x10^9 B lymphocytes (5000/uL) in the peripheral blood
    • On morphologic review, the leukemic cells must be small mature lymphocytes, and prolymphocytes must not exceed 55% of the blood lymphocytes
    • CLL cells on immunophenotype (performed locally) must reveal a clonal B-cell population, which express the B cell surface markers of CD19 and CD20, as well as the T-cell antigen CD5; patients with bright surface immunoglobulin expression or lack of CD23 expression in > 10% of cells must lack t(11;14) translocation by interphase cytogenetics
  • Patients must be intermediate or high-risk Rai stage CLL
    • Intermediate risk (formerly Rai stage I/II) is defined by lymphocytosis plus enlarged lymph nodes at any site, with or without hepatomegaly or splenomegaly
    • High risk (formerly Rai stage III/IV) is defined by fulfilling criteria for intermediate risk disease plus disease-related anemia (hemoglobin < 11 g/dL) or thrombocytopenia (platelet count < 100 x 10^9/L) that is not attributable to autoimmune hemolytic anemia or thrombocytopenia
  • Patients must meet criteria for treatment as defined by IWCLL 2008 guidelines which includes at least one of the following criteria:
    • Evidence of marrow failure as manifested by the development or worsening of anemia or thrombocytopenia (not attributable to autoimmune hemolytic anemia or thrombocytopenia)
    • Massive (≥ 6 cm below the costal margin), progressive or symptomatic splenomegaly
    • Massive nodes (≥ 10 cm) or progressive or symptomatic lymphadenopathy
    • Autoimmune anemia and/or thrombocytopenia that is poorly responsive to standard therapy
    • Constitutional symptoms, which include any of the following:
      • Unintentional weight loss of 10% or more within 6 months
      • Significant fatigue
      • Fevers > 100.5 degrees F for 2 weeks or more without evidence of infection
      • Night sweats > 1 month without evidence of infection
  • Prior Treatment
    • Patients must not have had prior therapy for CLL (except palliative steroids or treatment of autoimmune complications of CLL with rituximab or steroids)
    • Treatment with rituximab and/or high dose corticosteroids for autoimmune complications of CLL must be complete at least 4 weeks prior to enrollment; palliative steroids must be at a dose not higher than 20 mg/day of prednisone or equivalent corticosteroid at the time of registration
  • Eastern Cooperative Oncology Group (ECOG) performance status 0-2
  • Patients with active hepatitis B defined by hepatitis B surface antigen positivity or core antibody positivity in the presence of hepatitis B DNA are not eligible for this study; patients with a positive hepatitis B core antibody but with negative hepatitis B DNA may participate, but must have hepatitis serologies and hepatitis B DNA monitored periodically by the treating physician
    • Intravenous immunoglobulin (IVIG) can cause a false positive hepatitis B serology; if patients receiving routine IVIG have core antibody or surface antigen positivity without evidence of active viremia (negative hepatitis B DNA) they may still participate in the study, but should have hepatitis serologies and hepatitis B DNA monitored periodically by the treating physician
  • Patients must not be receiving active systemic anticoagulation with heparin or warfarin; patients must be off warfarin therapy for at least 30 days prior to enrollment
  • Patients with class III or class IV heart failure by New York Heart Association, those with unstable angina, and those with uncontrolled arrhythmia are not eligible
  • Patients who have had a myocardial infarction, intracranial bleed, or stroke within the past 6 months are not eligible
  • Patients with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) are eligible if their CD4 count is ≥ 350 cells/mm^3 and if they are not taking prohibited cytochrome (CYP)-interacting medications
  • Patients must not have any history of Richter's transformation or prolymphocytic leukemia (prolymphocytes in blood > 55%)
  • Patients must not require more than 20 mg prednisone or equivalent corticosteroid daily
  • Patients must not have uncontrolled active systemic infection requiring intravenous antibiotics
  • Patients must not have continued requirement for therapy with a strong cytochrome P450 3A4/5 (CYP3A4/5) inhibitor or inducer
  • Patients must not have a known allergy to mannitol
  • Patients must not have prior significant hypersensitivity to rituximab (not including infusion reactions)
  • Patients may not have had major surgery within 10 days of enrollment, or minor surgery within 7 days of enrollment; examples of minor surgery include dental surgery, insertion of a venous access device, skin biopsy, or aspiration of a joint; the decision about whether a surgery is major or minor can be made at the discretion of the treating physician
  • Absolute neutrophil count (ANC) ≥ 1,000/uL unless due to bone marrow involvement
  • Aspartate aminotransferase (AST) or alanine aminotransferase (AST) ≤ 2.5 x upper limits of normal except if due to disease
  • Bilirubin ≤ 1.5 x upper limits of normal (unless due to liver involvement, hemolysis, or Gilbert's disease)
  • Creatinine clearance ≥ 40 mL/min
    • To be calculated by modified Cockcroft-Gault formula
  • Platelet count (untransfused) ≥ 30,000/uL

Participating Mayo Clinic locations

Study statuses change often. Please contact us for help.

Mayo Clinic Location Status Contact

Scottsdale/Phoenix, Ariz.

Mayo Clinic principal investigator

Wei Ding, M.B.B.S., Ph.D.

Open for enrollment

Cancer Center Clinical Trials Referral Office


Rochester, Minn.

Mayo Clinic principal investigator

Wei Ding, M.B.B.S., Ph.D.

Open for enrollment

Cancer Center Clinical Trials Referral Office