Patients with high tumor burden, low grade follicular lymphoma that has never been treated, will receive venetoclax in combination with obinutuzumab and bendamustine. Venetoclax is an oral Bcl-2 family protein inhibitor. It targets the B-cell lymphoma 2 (BCL-2) protein, which supports cancer cell growth and is overexpressed in many patients with follicular lymphoma. Venetoclax may help to slow down the growth of cancer or may cause cancer cells to die. The purpose of this study is to see whether adding venetoclax to obinutuzumab and bendamustine improves the response (the tumor shrinks or disappears) in patients with follicular lymphoma. As of 9/5/2018, a higher than expected incidence of tumor lysis syndrome (TLS) was experienced among patients receiving venetoclax, obinutuzumab and bendamustine on Cycle 1, Day 1 of treatment. TLS is caused by the fast breakdown of cancer cells. These patients developed an increase in some of their blood tests (uric acid, phosphorus, potassium and/or creatinine). They received a medication called rasburicase and continued with treatment. It is unclear if the TLS was due to the venetoclax or the standard treatment of obinutuzumab and bendamustine. For the remaining patients, venetoclax will start on Cycle 2, Day 1 (previously Cycle 1, Day 1).



Eligible Ages
Over 18 Years
Eligible Genders
Accepts Healthy Volunteers


- Patient must have a histologically confirmed (biopsy-proven) diagnosis of follicular
B-cell non-Hodgkin lymphoma (WHO classification: follicular center grades 1, 2, and 3a
[3b patients are not eligible]), with no evidence of transformation to large cell

- Patient must meet criteria for High Tumor Burden (higher risk) as defined by either
the Groupe D'Etude des Lymphomes Follicularies (GELF) criteria [at least one
criterion] OR the follicular lymphoma international prognostic index (FLIPI) [score of
3, 4, or 5].

- Patient must have Stage II, III or IV disease.

- Baseline measurements and evaluations (PET/ CT) must be obtained within 10 weeks of
randomization to the study. Patient must have at least one objective measurable
disease parameter.

- Age ≥ 18 years.

- Eastern Cooperative Oncology Group (ECOG) performance status of 0-2.

- Ability to understand and willingness to sign Institutional Review Board
(IRB)-approved informed consent.

- Willing to provide mandatory tissue samples (if sufficient tissue available) for
research purposes.

- Adequate organ function as measured by the following criteria:

- Absolute Neutrophil Count (ANC) ≥ 1000/mm³

- Hemoglobin ≥ 8 g/dL

- Platelets ˃75,000/mm³

- Creatinine clearance ≥ 50 mL/min, calculated with the use of 24-hour creatinine
clearance or by Cockcroft-Gault formula

- Total Bilirubin ≤ 1.5x Upper Limit of Normal (ULN) or ≤ 3x ULN for patients with
documented Gilbert's syndrome

- Aspartate aminotransferase (AST)/ alanine aminotransferase (ALT) ≤ 2.5x ULN

- Alkaline Phosphatase <5x ULN

- All females of childbearing potential (not surgically sterilized and between menarche
and 1 year post menopause) must have a blood or urine test to rule out pregnancy
within 2 weeks prior to registration.

- Women must not be pregnant or breastfeeding.

- Patient must have had no prior chemotherapy, radiotherapy or immunotherapy for
lymphoma. For purposes of this trial, prednisone or other corticosteroids used for
non-lymphomatous conditions will not be considered as prior chemotherapy. In addition,
a prior/recent short course (<2 weeks) of steroids for symptom relief of
lymphoma-related symptoms will not make a patient ineligible.

- Patient must have no recent history of malignancy except for adequately treated basal
cell or squamous cell skin cancer, Stage I melanoma of the skin, or in situ cervical
cancer. Individuals in documented remission without treatment for ≥ 2 years prior to
enrollment may be included at the discretion of the investigator.

- Patient must have no active, uncontrolled infections.

- Patients must be tested for hepatitis B virus (HBV), hepatitis B surface antigen
(HBsAg+) and hepatitis C (HCV) antibody within 6 weeks of registration. Patients who
are chronic carriers of HBV with positive HBsAg+ and positive HCV serology are
excluded, as chemotherapy and B-cell depleting therapy have been associated with virus
reactivation and fulminant hepatitis. NOTE: Patients with a past or resolved HBV
infection (defined as the presence of hepatitis B core antibody [anti-HBc] and absence
of HBsAg) may be included if HBV DNA is undetectable. If enrolled, patients must be
willing to undergo monthly HBV DNA testing. Patients with positive HCV antibody must
be negative for HCV by polymerase chain reaction (PCR) to be eligible for study

- HIV positive patients are not excluded, but to enroll, must meet all of the below

- HIV is sensitive to antiretroviral therapy.

- Must be willing to take effective antiretroviral therapy if indicated.

- No history of CD4 prior to or at the time of lymphoma diagnosis <300 cells/mm³.

- No history of AIDS-defining conditions.

- If on antiretroviral therapy, must not be taking zidovudine or stavudine.

- Must be willing to take prophylaxis for Pneumocystis jiroveci pneumonia during
therapy and until at least 2 months following the completion of therapy or until
the CD4 cells recover to over 250 cells/mm³, whichever occurs later.

- Evidence of significant, uncontrolled concomitant diseases that could affect
compliance with the protocol or interpretation of results or that could increase risk
to the patient.

- No major surgery within 2 weeks prior to cycle 1, other than for diagnosis.

- A condition that precludes oral route of administration (venetoclax).

- No known allergies to both xanthine oxidase inhibitors and rasburicase.

- Patient must not require the use of warfarin (because of potential drug-drug
interactions that may potentially increase the exposure of warfarin). Blood thinners
of other classes are permitted.

- Patient may not receive the following agents within 7 days prior to the first dose of

- Strong and moderate CYP3A inhibitors

- Strong and moderate CYP3A inducers

- Consumed grapefruit, grapefruit products, Seville oranges (including marmalade
containing Seville oranges), or star fruit within 3 days prior to the first dose
of venetoclax.

- Patient must not have serious medical or psychiatric illness likely to interfere with
participation in this clinical study.

Study Design

Phase 2
Study Type
Intervention Model
Parallel Assignment
Primary Purpose
None (Open Label)

Arm Groups

ArmDescriptionAssigned Intervention
Induction Venetoclax
Cycle 1-6: Obinutuzumab intravenously (IV) and bendamustine IV. Cycle 2-6: Venetoclax (oral)
  • Drug: Induction Venetoclax
    1 cycle = 28 days. Cycle 1-6: Obinutuzumab IV. Cycle 1, Day 1 obinutuzumab 100 mg and Cycle 1, Day 2 obinutuzumab 900 mg for total dose of 1000 mg. On Cycle 1, Day 8 and Day 15 obinutuzumab 1000 mg. Starting with Cycle 2, obinutuzumab 1000 mg on Day 1 only of each cycle. Cycle 1-6: Bendamustine 90 mg/m² IV on Days 1 and 2 of each cycle over 15 minutes after obinutuzumab. Cycle 2-6: Venetoclax 800 mg by mouth daily on Days 1-10 administered before obinutuzumab and/or bendamustine.
    Other names:
    • GDC-0199
    • ABT-199
    • RO5537382
Maintenance Venetoclax
Patients with stable or improved disease will receive venetoclax by mouth daily for 24 cycles (1 cycle=1 month) and obinutuzumab IV every 2 months for 12 cycles. Patients with no evidence of disease will receive obinutuzumab IV every 2 months for 12 cycles.
  • Drug: Maintenance Venetoclax
    Patients whose disease is the same or improved will receive venetoclax 800 mg by mouth daily for 24 cycles (1 cycle=1 month) and obinutuzumab 1000 mg IV every 2 months for 12 cycles. Patients with no evidence of disease will receive obinutuzumab 1000 mg IV every 2 months for 12 cycles.
    Other names:
    • GDC-0199
    • ABT-199
    • RO5537382

Recruiting Locations

Vanderbilt-Ingram Cancer Center
Nashville, Tennessee 37232
Violeta Vartic

More Details


Study Contact

Carolyn Andrews, RN

Detailed Description

Follicular lymphoma (FL) is the most common low grade lymphoma comprising 70% of low-grade non-Hodgkin's lymphoma (NHL) and 22% of all cases of NHL. The survival rates for patients with indolent NHL remained unchanged from the 1950s through the early 1990s, but recent evidence suggests that outcomes continue to improve. High-risk patients with FL, defined as having advanced stage and high tumor burden have significantly shorter progression free survival despite significant advances.

This is an open-label phase II study of venetoclax in combination with obinutuzumab and bendamustine. Patients will receive induction therapy with obinutuzumab and bendamustine for six cycles (1 cycle = 28 days). Venetoclax will start with 2nd cycle of induction therapy (previously started with cycle 1). There will be a formal, detailed toxicity evaluation after 21 patients complete 3 cycles of treatment.

Patients who achieve partial response or stable disease will receive therapy with obinutuzumab every 2 months for 12 cycles and venetoclax every month for 24 cycles. Patients who achieve a complete response will receive obinutuzumab every 2 months for 12 cycles. Patients with progressive disease will not continue onto the maintenance arm.

Tumor assessments will be performed approximately every 12 weeks during induction and every 6 months during maintenance therapy.

Mandatory pre-treatment tumor tissue sample (i.e., obtained during a previous procedure or biopsy) will be required for research (if sufficient tissue is available). Optional tumor biopsy samples obtained during treatment or post-treatment will also be requested for research.


Study information shown on this site is derived from ClinicalTrials.gov (a public registry operated by the National Institutes of Health). The listing of studies provided is not certain to be all studies for which you might be eligible. Furthermore, study eligibility requirements can be difficult to understand and may change over time, so it is wise to speak with your medical care provider and individual research study teams when making decisions related to participation.