The addition of quizartinib to standard induction and consolidation chemotherapy and then continued as a single agent doubled median overall survival vs standard chemotherapy alone in patients with newly diagnosed FLT3-ITD–positive acute myeloid leukemia.
The addition of quizartinib to standard induction and consolidation chemotherapy and then continued as a single agent doubled median overall survival (OS) vs standard chemotherapy alone in patients with newly diagnosed FLT3-ITD–positive acute myeloid leukemia (AML), meeting the primary end point of the phase 3 QuANTUM-First trial (NCT02668653).1
The results, which were presented during the 2022 EHA Congress as part of a press briefing, showed that at a median follow-up of 39.2 months, the median OS in the quizartinib arm was 31.9 months (95% CI, 21.0–not estimable) vs 15.1 months (95% CI, 13.2-26.2) in the placebo arm, translating to a 22.4% reduction in the risk of death (HR, 0.776; 95% CI, 0.615-0.979; 2-sided P = .0324).1,2
“The QuANTUM-First results show that adding quizartinib to standard chemotherapy significantly improved OS in patients with newly diagnosed FLT3-ITD–positive AML,” Harry P. Erba, MD, PhD, lead study author and instructor in the Department of Medicine of the Division of Hematologic Malignancies and Cellular Therapy at the Duke Cancer Institute, said during the press briefing.
The international, randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled, trial enrolled patients with newly diagnosed FLT3-ITD–positive AML who are between the ages of 18 years and 75 years, and with at least a 3% FLT3-ITD allelic frequency. Participants began 7+3 chemotherapy during screening.1,3
Study participants were randomized 1:1 to receive quizartinib at 40 mg on days 8 through 21 or placebo added to standard chemotherapy in the form of cytarabine on days 1 to 7 and daunorubicin or idarubicin on days 1 to 3 as induction treatment for up to 2 cycles.
Patients then received consolidation treatment with high-dose cytarabine plus quizartinib or placebo and/or transplant per institutional policies. They continued to receive quizartinib or placebo monotherapy, given once daily, for up to 36 cycles.
Stratification factors included region (North America vs European Union vs Asian/other regions), patient age (<60 years vs ≥60 years), and white blood cell count (<40 x 109L vs ≥ 40 x 109/L).
The primary end point of the trial was OS, and secondary end points included event-free survival (EFS), complete remission (CR), composite CR, and safety. Relapse-free survival (RFS) and duration of CR served as exploratory end points. Pharmacokinetic and quality-of-life (QOL) data are also being collected.1,3
At a data cutoff date of August 13, 2021, a total of 3468 were screened; of those patients, 539 underwent randomization. A total of 268 patients were enrolled to the quizartinib arm, and 271 were enrolled to the placebo arm; 265 and 268 of patients, respectively, received treatment.
In the quizartinib arm, 32 were still receiving treatment, 88 were alive and continuing follow-up, and 148 had discontinued treatment. The most common reasons for discontinuation was death (n = 133), followed by withdrawn consent (n = 13), and loss to follow-up (n = 2).
In the control arm, 26 patients were still receiving treatment, 77 were alive and continuing follow-up, and 168 discontinued; 158 who discontinued died, 9 withdrew consent, and 1 was lost to follow-up.
Baseline patient characteristics were balanced between the arms. The median age was 56 years (range, 20-65) in both arms, and approximately 54% were male. Moreover, most patients were White and from Europe.
In a sensitivity analysis of OS that censored for transplant, the hazard ratio was 0.752 (95% CI, 0.562-1.008), favoring quizartinib over placebo. Moreover, data from a post-hoc analysis of OS in patients who achieved a CR and received transplant in CR1 showed that the OS for HR was 0.591 (95% CI, 0.330-1.059); in those who achieved a CR but did not receive transplant in CR1, the HR for OS was 0.607 (95% CI, 0.387-0.954).
In the primary analysis of EFS, the hazard ratio was 0.916 (95% CI, 0.754-1.114; P = .2371). In the sensitivity analysis of EFS, the hazard ratio was 0.818 (95% CI, 0.669-0.999; P = .0323). The hierarchical testing procedure was stopped after EFS, as the primary EFS result was not found to be statisically significant.
Quizartinib elicited a CRc of 71.6% (95% CI, 65.8%-77.0%) vs 64.9% (95% CI, 58.9%-70.6%) with placebo; the CR rates were 54.9% (95% CI, 48.7%-60.9%) and 55.4% (95% CI, 49.2%-61.4%), respectively, and the CRi rates were 16.8% (95% CI, 12.5%-21.8%) and 9.6% (95% CI, 6.4%-13.7%), respectively. The duration of CR in the investigative arm was 38.6 months (95% CI, 21.9–not evaluable) vs 12.4 months (95% CI, 8.8-22.7) in the control arm.
Additionally, quizartinib resulted in a median RFS of 39.3 months in those who achieved a CR vs 13.6 months with placebo (HR, 0.613; 95% CI, 0.444-0.845).
The safety of quizartinib in combination with intensive chemotherapy and as continuation monotherapy was found to be manageable, overall. Notably, no new safety signals were reported.
Rates of grade 3 or higher TEAEs were comparable between the treatment arms. However, rates of grade 3 or higher neutropenia were higher in the investigative arm vs the control arm, at 18.1% vs 8.6%, respectively.
Other common grade 3 or higher TEAEs experienced by 10% or more of patients in the quizartinib and placebo arms, respectively, included febrile neutropenia (43.4% vs 41.0%), hypokalemia (18.9% vs 16.4%), and pneumonia (11.7% vs 12.7%).
Moreover, grade 3 or higher QTcF prolongation was observed in 2.3% of patients who received quizartinib, and 0.8% discontinued treatment with the agent because due to this. Notably, ventricular arrhythmia events were uncommon with quizartinib, according to Erba.
TEAEs that were linked with fatal outcomes occurred in 11.3% of those in the investigative arm vs 9.7% of those in the placebo arm, and they were mainly due to infections.1 Two patients (0.8%) experienced cardiac arrest with recorded ventricular fibrillation on echocardiogram in the setting of severe hypokalemia; 1 of these cases had a fatal outcome.2
“The obvious question that [these date raise] is, we know that we also have midostaurin [Rydapt] for this population of patients, so how will a practitioner choose?” Erba noted. “This is not a head-to-head comparison, and that was [because] midostaurin was approved in the United States after this study was launched, and then [was] slowly approved across the globe [afterward]. In some countries, it is still not approved. Clinicians will have to make that determination on their own.”
Erba went on to say that QuANTUM-First differs from the study done with midostaurin (RATIFY; NCT00651261) in that it focused on “patients who have the worst prognosis—those with FLT3-ITD mutations.” In the research done with midostaurin, “[patients] had both FLT3-TKD and -ITD mutations,” Erba added. “In fact, if you look at the HR, [it was] lowest in favor of midostaurin for FLT3-TKD–mutated patients. Of course, the study lost power to look at differences. [Regardless,] we are quite excited about what we have seen here in terms of survival data.”