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BACKGROUND: In a phase 3 randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial, treatment with idelalisib, a phosphoinositol-3 kinase δ inhibitor, + bendamustine/rituximab improved progression-free survival (PFS) and overall survival (OS) in adult patients with relapsed/refractory chronic lymphocytic leukemia (R/R CLL). Here we report the results of health-related quality of life (HRQL) analyses from this study. METHODS: From June 15, 2012 to August 21, 2014, 416 patients with R/R CLL were enrolled; 207 patients were randomized to the idelalisib arm and 209 to the placebo arm. In the 416 patients randomized to receive bendamustine/rituximab and either oral idelalisib 150 mg twice-daily or placebo, HRQL was assessed at baseline and throughout the blinded part of the study using the Functional Assessment of Cancer Therapy-Leukemia (FACT-Leu) and EuroQoL Five-Dimension (EQ-5D) visual analogue scale (VAS) questionnaires. The assessments were performed at scheduled patient visits; every 4 weeks for the first 6 months from the initiation of treatment, then every 8 weeks for the next 6 months, and every 12 weeks thereafter until end of study. Least-squares mean changes from baseline were estimated using a mixed-effects model by including treatment, time, and treatment-by-time interaction, and stratification factors as fixed effects. Time to first symptom improvement was assessed by Kaplan-Meier analysis. RESULTS: In mixed-effects model analysis, idelalisib + bendamustine/rituximab treatment led to clinically meaningful improvements from baseline in leukemia-associated symptoms. Moreover, per Kaplan-Meier analysis, the proportion of patients with symptom improvement was higher and time to improvement was shorter among patients in the idelalisib-containing arm compared with those who did not receive idelalisib. The physical and social/family FACT-Leu subscale scores, along with the self-rated health assessed by EQ-VAS, showed improvement with idelalisib over placebo, but the difference did not reach statistical significance. The functional and emotional FACT-Leu subscale scores remained similar to placebo. CONCLUSIONS: Addition of idelalisib to bendamustine/rituximab, apart from improving PFS and OS, had a neutral to beneficial impact on HRQL in patients with R/R CLL, particularly by reducing leukemia-specific disease symptoms. TRIAL REGISTRATION: NCT01569295. Registered April 3, 2012.

Original publication




Journal article


Health Qual Life Outcomes

Publication Date





Health-related quality of life, Idelalisib, Patient-related outcomes, Randomized phase 3 study, Relapsed/refractory CLL