BACKGROUND & AIM: In randomised clinical trials, the type II anti-CD20 antibody obinutuzumab has been shown to be more effective than rituximab for therapy of chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) and follicular lymphoma (FL). However, this enhanced efficacy was linked with elevated rates of high-grade adverse events. The aim of this study was to assess the tolerability and toxicity profile of obinutuzumab treatment in routine patients with CLL and FL, of whom the majority had experienced toxicity or resistance to rituximab.
METHODS: This retrospective cohort study investigated fifteen obinutuzumab-treated patients, eight with CLL and seven with FL. The course of the disease, comorbidities and treatment-related toxicities were recorded. All patients with CLL and all but three FL patients had any form of pre-treatment with rituximab.
RESULTS: Between October 2014 and August 2017, 15 patients were treated with obinutuzumab at the University Hospital Krems. In the CLL-cohort, 1 patient (12,5%) developed pneumonia, 2 (25%) febrile neutropenia, 6 (75%) anemia and 7 (87,5%) thrombocytopenia, respectively. One patient exhibited an infusion-related allergic reaction. In the FL-cohort, 6 patients (85,7%) presented with thrombocytopenia, 3 (42,9%) with anemia and one patient with neutropenia. No sepsis or consecutive solid tumors were seen in any of the patients.
CONCLUSION: Obinutuzumab was mostly well tolerated in mild to heavily pre-treated patients with CLL and therapy-naïve or pre-treated patients with FL. The frequency and profile of adverse events and toxicity was comparable to data from previous clinical studies and could be managed adequately in the setting of a University Clinic.