The trial evaluated zanubrutinib, a potent and selective BTK inhibitor, versus ibrutinib, a first generation BTK inhibitor, in patients with Waldenström macroglobulinemia.
In an interview with CancerNetwork®, Constantine Si Lun Tam, MD, MBBS, FRACP, FRCPA, of the Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre, discussed the key highlights for patients from the phase 3 ASPEN trial.
Results from the randomized phase 3 ASPEN trial, presented at the 2020 American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) Virtual Scientific Meeting, indicated that, though not statistically significant, zanubrutinib (Brukinsa) was associated with a higher complete response or very good partial response (CR+VGPR) rate and demonstrated clinically meaningful advances in safety and tolerability compared to ibrutinib (Imbruvica) in patients with Waldenström macroglobulinemia.
So, I think the key highlight for the patient is that we've got 2 drugs which are similar. One is zanubrutinib, it’s a more selective, in other words more targeted, version of ibrutinib, potentially with better side effects and will be competitive to drugs head to head. Indeed, we do see a difference in side effects, with zanubrutinib having less side effects and better tolerance than ibrutinib, which is great because it gives us extra options for treatment of Waldenströms.