Clinical Trials /

Venetoclax and Ibrutinib in Treating Participants With High-Risk Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia/Small Lymphocytic Lymphoma



This phase II trial studies how well venetoclax and ibrutinib work in treating participants with high-risk chronic lymphocytic leukemia/small lymphocytic lymphoma. Drugs used in chemotherapy, such as venetoclax, work in different ways to stop the growth of cancer cells, either by killing the cells, by stopping them from dividing, or by stopping them from spreading. Ibrutinib may stop the growth of cancer cells by blocking some of the enzymes needed for cell growth. Giving venetoclax and ibrutinib may work better in treating participants with chronic lymphocytic leukemia/small lymphocytic lymphoma.

Related Conditions:
  • Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia/Small Lymphocytic Lymphoma
Recruiting Status:



Phase 2

Trial Eligibility



  • Brief Title: Study of Venetoclax (ABT-199) Added to Ibrutinib in Patients With High-Risk Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia (CLL)
  • Official Title: A Phase II Study of Venetoclax (ABT-199) Added to Ibrutinib in Patients With High-Risk Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia (CLL)

Clinical Trial IDs

  • ORG STUDY ID: 2016-0785
  • SECONDARY ID: NCI-2018-01182
  • NCT ID: NCT03128879


  • Primary Lymphoid Haematopoietic Neoplasms
  • Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia
  • Small Lymphocytic Lymphoma


VenetoclaxABT-199, GDC-0199Venetoclax + Ibrutinib
IbrutinibPCI-32765, ImbruvicaVenetoclax + Ibrutinib
AllopurinolLopurin, Zurinol, ZyloprimVenetoclax + Ibrutinib


The goal of this clinical research study is to learn if giving the drug venetoclax with ibrutinib can help to control the disease in patients with chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) or small lymphocytic lymphoma (SLL). The safety of this combination treatment will also be studied. This is an investigational study. Ibrutinib is FDA approved and commercially available for the treatment of CLL/SLL. Venetoclax is FDA approved for some patients with CLL whose disease has come back after 1 or more previous treatments. The use of venetoclax in combination with ibrutinib is considered investigational. The study doctor can describe how the study drugs are designed to work. Up to 45 participants will be enrolled in this study. All will take part at MD Anderson.

Detailed Description

      Study Drug Administration:

      If you are found to be eligible to take part in this study, you will receive the study drugs
      in study cycles that are 4 weeks (28 days) long.

      You will take ibrutinib 1 time every day while you are on study with about 1 cup (8 ounces)
      of water.

      If you miss a dose of ibrutinib, it can be taken as soon as possible on the same day with a
      return to the normal schedule the following day. You should not take extra capsules on the
      following day to make up for a missed dose.

      You will also take tablets of venetoclax 1 time every day for the rest of the study. Each
      dose of venetoclax will be taken at about the same time as ibrutinib with about 1 cup (8
      ounces) of water, within 30 minutes after you finish eating a low-fat breakfast. Timing of
      dosing can be adjusted, if necessary, after discussion with your doctor.

      In order to lower the risk of side effects, you will start taking venetoclax at a low dose
      and then it will be increased each week as directed by your doctor until you are taking the
      full dose.

      If you vomit within 15 minutes of taking venetoclax and all the tablets are still intact,
      another dose may be taken. Otherwise, you should not take another dose. In cases where a dose
      of venetoclax is missed or forgotten, you should take the dose as soon as possible, as long
      as it is within 8 hours after the dose was planned to have been taken.

      You will also be given standard drugs to help decrease the risk of side effects beginning 3
      days before your first dose of venetoclax. You may ask the study staff for information about
      how the drugs are given and their risks. You will also be instructed to drink at least 6 cups
      of water every day beginning 2 days before you take venetoclax until 1 day after the first

      Tumor Lysis Syndrome Monitoring:

      Starting about 3 days before receiving your first dose of venetoclax (and continuing for at
      least 5 weeks of treatment), you will be given a drug to lower the risk of a serious side
      effect called Tumor Lysis Syndrome (TLS). TLS happens when cancer cells break down rapidly.
      The break-down products enter the bloodstream and are not flushed out quickly enough.

      You will need to drink lots of water (at least a half-gallon each day) starting 2 days before
      your first dose.

      You will have blood tests (about 2 tablespoons each time) before your dose of venetoclax.
      Depending on your individual risk of TLS, you may need to be hospitalized for 2 nights to
      monitor for TLS. If you are hospitalized, you will have blood tests (about 2 tablespoons each
      time) 4, 8, 12 and 24 hours after your dose. Based on your test results, your study doctor
      may have more instructions for you, and you may need to meet with a kidney doctor while you
      are in the hospital. You may need to receive fluids by vein.

      If you are not hospitalized for TLS monitoring, you will be monitored closely as an
      outpatient. You will have blood tests (about 2 tablespoons) 6-8 hours and 24 hours after you
      take your first dose of venetoclax in Week 1 and Week 2. Some patients may also need this
      monitoring in Weeks 3-5. This decision will be made by the study doctor based on your
      individual risk of TLS. Based on these test results, your study doctor may have more
      instructions for you. You may need to be hospitalized or have further tests.

      Study Visits:

      Every week during Cycle 1, and at the start of Cycles 2, 3, and 4:

        -  You will have a physical exam.

        -  Blood (about 2 tablespoons) will be drawn for routine tests.

      At the end of Cycles 6, 12, 18 and 24, you will have CT, PET/CT or MRI scans to check the
      status of the disease. If the disease is considered to be in "complete remission," your
      treating doctor may decide you do not need these scans.

      At the end of Cycles 6, 12, 18 and 24, you will have a bone marrow biopsy to check on the
      status of the disease. Based on how the disease responds to treatment, your doctor may decide
      that you do not need to have this bone marrow biopsy at Cycles 18 and 24.

      On Day 1 of Cycles 7, 10, 13, 16, 19, 22 and at the end of Cycle 24:

        -  You will have a physical exam.

        -  Blood (about 2 tablespoons) will be drawn for routine tests.

      Physical exams and blood draws may be done more often if the doctor thinks they are needed.

      Length of Treatment:

      You may receive venetoclax for up to 96 weeks. You may continue receiving ibrutinib for as
      long as the study doctor thinks it is in your best interest. You will no longer be able to
      take the study drugs if the disease gets worse, if intolerable side effects occur, or if you
      are unable to follow study directions.

      Long-term follow-up:

      After completion of the study, you will continue to see your doctor for routine medical care.
      You will also be asked to participate in a separate leukemia department protocol (DR09-0223).
      The purpose of this protocol is to determine how long patients live after receiving leukemia
      treatment. On this study, if you are not having follow-up at MD Anderson, study staff will
      contact you, via phone, email or MyMDAnderson every 6-12 months, to see how you are doing.
      Phone calls will take approximately 5-10 minutes. If you agree, you will sign a separate
      consent form for this study.

Trial Arms

Venetoclax + IbrutinibExperimentalParticipants receive Ibrutinib and Venetoclax by mouth once per day.
  • Venetoclax
  • Ibrutinib
  • Allopurinol

Eligibility Criteria

        Inclusion Criteria:

          1. Patients must have a diagnosis of CLL/CLL and EITHER Have high-risk cytogenetic
             features or molecular features, defined as: del(17p), del(11q), mutated TP53, complex
             metaphase karyotype (defined as >/=3 unrelated chromosomal abnormalities, present in
             at least 2 metaphases on conventional, stimulated cytogenetic analysis) OR Have
             developed a BTK or PLCG2 mutation, detected by sequencing and have not developed
             disease progression during ibrutinib therapy as defined by IWCLL criteria (Appendix 1)
             OR B2M has not normalized after 1y ibrutinib therapy or is elevated at the screening
             *** Note: some patients treated with ibrutinib may no longer have detectable FISH,
             karyotypic or molecular abnormalities after 12 months of therapy. These patients will
             be eligible if they fulfill the above criteria on a bone marrow biopsy or peripheral
             blood specimen taken within the 3 months prior to starting ibrutinib or at some time
             during their ibrutinib therapy and analyzed at a CLIA-accredited laboratory.

          2. Patients must have received at least 12 months of ibrutinib therapy and have
             measurable CLL by at least one of the following: Absolute monoclonal lymphocyte count
             > 4000/microL; OR - Measurable lymph nodes with at least one node >1.5 cm in diameter
             on CT; OR - Bone marrow with >/= 30% lymphocytes on aspirate differential; OR -
             Detectable CLL cells using a standardized flow cytometry assay for minimal residual

          3. Age 18 years or older.

          4. Eastern Cooperative Oncology Group (ECOG) Performance Status </=2.

          5. Patients must have adequate renal and hepatic function: i) Serum bilirubin </=1.5 x
             upper limit of normal (ULN) or </=3 x ULN for patients with Gilbert's disease ii)
             Serum creatinine clearance of >/= 50ml/min (calculated or measured) iv) ALT and AST
             </=3.0 x ULN, unless clearly due to disease involvement.

          6. Adequate bone marrow function: i) Platelet count of greater than 20,000/µl, with no
             platelet transfusion in prior 2 weeks ii) ANC >/=500/µl in the absence of growth
             factor support unless due to compromised bone marrow production from CLL, indicated by
             >/=80% CLL in marrow. iii) Hemoglobin >/=8mg/dL.

          7. INR <1.5

          8. Adequate cardiac function, as assessed by: - Absence of uncontrolled cardiac
             arrhythmia. - Echocardiogram demonstrating LVEF >/=35%. - NYHA functional class </=2.

          9. Ability to provide informed consent and adhere to the required follow-up.

         10. Women of childbearing potential must have a negative serum or urine beta human
             chorionic gonadotropin (beta-hCG) pregnancy test result within 7 days prior to the
             first dose of study drugs and must agree to use use both a highly effective method of
             birth control (eg, implants, injectables, combined oral contraceptives, some
             intrauterine devices [IUDs], complete abstinence, or sterilized partner) and a barrier
             method (eg., condoms, vaginal ring, sponge, etc) during the period of therapy and for
             30 days after the last dose of study drug. Women of non- childbearing potential are
             those who are postmenopausal (defined as absence of menses for >/=1 year) or who have
             had a bilateral tubal ligation or hysterectomy. Men who have partners of childbearing
             potential must agree to use effective contraception, defined above, during the study
             and for 30 days following the last dose of study drug.

         11. Patients or their legally authorized representative must provide written informed

        Exclusion Criteria:

          1. Richter transformation.

          2. Active malignancy requiring systemic therapy, other than CLL, with the exception of:
             adequately treated in situ carcinoma of the cervix uteri; adequately treated basal
             cell carcinoma or localized squamous cell carcinoma of the skin; previous malignancy
             confined and surgically resected (or treated with other modalities) with curative

          3. Major surgery, radiotherapy, chemotherapy, biologic therapy, immunotherapy,
             experimental therapy within 3 weeks prior to the first dose of the study drug.

          4. Grade 3 or 4 hemorrhage within the past 3 weeks.

          5. Uncontrolled active infections (viral, bacterial, and fungal).

          6. Females who are pregnant or lactating.

          7. Known positive serology for human immunodeficiency virus (HIV).

          8. Active hepatitis B infection (defined as the presence of detectable HBV DNA or HBe
             antigen). Patients who are HBsAg or HBcAb positive are eligible, provided HBV DNA is
             negative. These patients must have monthly monitoring of HBV DNA for the duration of
             the study.

          9. Active hepatitis C, defined by the detection of hepatitis C RNA in plasma by PCR.

         10. Active, uncontrolled autoimmune phenomenon (autoimmune hemolytic anemia or immune
             thrombocytopenia) requiring steroid therapy >20mg prednisone daily or equivalent,
             within 7 days of starting venetoclax.

         11. Received other investigational therapeutic agent for CLL/SLL within 21 days of
             starting venetoclax.

         12. Concurrent use of warfarin.

         13. Received strong CYP3A inhibitors or strong CYP3A inducers within 7 days of starting

         14. Consuming grapefruit, grapefruit products, Seville oranges, or star fruit within 7
             days of starting venetoclax.

         15. Prior treatment with venetoclax or other Bcl-2 inhibitor.

         16. Malabsorption syndrome or other condition that precludes enteral route of
Maximum Eligible Age:N/A
Minimum Eligible Age:18 Years
Eligible Gender:All
Healthy Volunteers:No

Primary Outcome Measures

Measure:Overall Response (OR)
Time Frame:48 weeks
Safety Issue:
Description:OR defined as a complete response (CR) or partial response (PR) or CR with incomplete marrow recovery (CRi) as determined by investigator assessment using IWCLL 2008 response criteria.


Phase:Phase 2
Primary Purpose:Interventional
Overall Status:Recruiting
Lead Sponsor:M.D. Anderson Cancer Center

Trial Keywords

  • Primary lymphoid haematopoietic neoplasms
  • Chronic lymphocytic leukemia
  • CLL
  • Small lymphocytic lymphoma
  • SLL
  • High risk
  • Venetoclax
  • ABT-199
  • GDC-0199
  • Ibrutinib
  • PCI-32765
  • Imbruvica
  • Allopurinol
  • Lopurin
  • Zurinol
  • Zyloprim

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