Immunotherapy that facilitates endogenous T-cell activity has the potential to target therapy-resistant tumor clones. In vitro studies have demonstrated that lenalidomide repairs the T-cell immunologic synapse defect in chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL). Pentostatin, cyclophosphamide, and rituximab (PCR) in CLL is clinically active with modest toxicity, indicating suitability of this chemoimmunotherapy (CIT) platform for combination with immunotherapy. Here we report on a trial of PCR followed by lenalidomide consolidation. Of 34 patients who received lenalidomide, 24% improved their quality of response and 4 patients converted to minimal residual disease negative status. Retrospective comparison to a historical PCR trial indicated that lenalidomide consolidation extends time to progression requiring salvage therapy. Longitudinal analysis showed that antitumor T-cell immune synapse activity improved post-PCR and was further enhanced after lenalidomide consolidation. These novel data showing repair of T-cell defects provide proof-of-principle that lenalidomide-based consolidation after CIT could have a beneficial clinical and immunologic role in CLL.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cell Biology