Bruton tyrosine kinase (BTK) links the B-cell antigen receptor (BCR) and Toll-like receptors with NF-κB. The role of BTK in primary central nervous system (CNS) lymphoma (PCNSL) is unknown. We performed a phase I clinical trial with ibrutinib, the first-in-class BTK inhibitor, for patients with relapsed or refractory CNS lymphoma. Clinical responses to ibrutinib occurred in 10 of 13 (77%) patients with PCNSL, including five complete responses. The only PCNSL with complete ibrutinib resistance harbored a mutation within the coiled-coil domain of CARD11, a known ibrutinib resistance mechanism. Incomplete tumor responses were associated with mutations in the B-cell antigen receptor-associated protein CD79B. CD79B-mutant PCNSLs showed enrichment of mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR)-related gene sets and increased staining with PI3K/mTOR activation markers. Inhibition of the PI3K isoforms p110α/p110δ or mTOR synergized with ibrutinib to induce cell death in CD79B-mutant PCNSL cells. Significance: Ibrutinib has substantial activity in patients with relapsed or refractory B-cell lymphoma of the CNS. Response rates in PCNSL were considerably higher than reported for diffuse large B-cell lymphoma outside the CNS, suggesting a divergent molecular pathogenesis. Combined inhibition of BTK and PI3K/mTOR may augment the ibrutinib response in CD79B -mutant human PCNSLs.
ASJC Scopus subject areas