Condition category
Date applied
Date assigned
Last edited
Prospectively registered
Overall trial status
Recruitment status

Contact information



Primary contact

Mr Jamie Oughton


Contact details

Clinical Trials Research Unit (CTRU)
Woodhouse Lane
United Kingdom
+44 113 343 1494

Additional identifiers

EudraCT number

2013-001944-76 number

Protocol/serial number


Study information

Scientific title

FLAIR: Front-Line therapy in CLL: Assessment of Ibrutinib + Rituximab: a randomised controlled trial



Study hypothesis

The trial aims to provide evidence for the future first-line treatment of CLL patients by assessing whether IR is superior to FCR in terms of progression-free survival.

Ethics approval

NRES Committee Yorkshire & The Humber - Leeds West, 17/06/2014, ref: 14/YH/0085

Study design

Randomised; Interventional; Design type: Treatment

Primary study design


Secondary study design

Randomised controlled trial

Trial setting


Trial type


Patient information sheet

Not available in web format, please use the contact details below to request a patient information sheet


Topic: Cancer; Subtopic: Haematological Oncology; Disease: Leukaemia (chronic)


Participants will be randomised on a 1:1 basis to receive standard therapy with fludarabine, cyclophosphamide and rituximab (FCR) or ibrutinib plus rituximab (IR).

Intervention type



Phase III

Drug names

Primary outcome measures

The trial aims to provide evidence for the future first-line treatment of CLL patients by assessing whether IR is superior to FCR in terms of progression-free survival, and whether IR toxicity rates are favourable.

Secondary outcome measures

1. Overall survival
2. Undetectable minimal residual disease
3. Response to therapy
4. Health-related quality of life
5. Cost-effectiveness

Overall trial start date


Overall trial end date


Reason abandoned


Participant inclusion criteria

1. At least 18 years old. Maximum age of 75 years old.
2. B-CLL with a characteristic immunophenotype, including small lymphocytic lymphoma
3. Binet’s Stages C, B or Progressive Stage A
4. Requiring therapy by the IWCLL criteria in that they must have at least one of the following:
4.1. Evidence of progressive marrow failure as manifested by the development of, or worsening of, anaemia and/or thrombocytopenia.
4.2. Massive (i.e. 6 cm below the left costal margin) or progressive or symptomatic splenomegaly
4.3. Massive nodes (i.e. 10 cm in longest diameter) or progressive or symptomatic lymphadenopathy
4.4. Progressive lymphocytosis with an increase of more than 50% over a 2-month period or lymphocyte doubling time (LDT) of less than 6 months as long as the lymphocyte count is over 30 x 10^9/L
4.5. A minimum of any one of the following disease-related symptoms must be present:
4.5.1. Unintentional weight loss more than or equal to 10% within the previous 6 months.
4.5.2. Significant fatigue (i.e. Eastern Cooperative Oncology Group PS 2 or worse; cannot work or unable to perform usual activities)
4.5.3. Fevers of greater than 38.0°C for 2 or more weeks without other evidence of infection
4.5.4. Night sweats for more than 1 month without evidence of infection
5. Considered fit for treatment with FCR as determined by the treating clinician
6. World Health Organisation (WHO) performance status (PS) of 0, 1 or 2
7. Able to provide written informed consent
8. Biochemical values must be within the following limits within 14 days prior to randomization and at baseline:
8.1. Alanine aminotransferase (ALT) 3 x upper limit of normal (ULN). Aspartate aminotransferase (AST) 3 x ULN.
8.2. Total bilirubin = 1.5 x ULN, unless bilirubin rise is due to Gilbert’s syndrome or of non-hepatic origin

Participant type


Age group




Target number of participants

Planned Sample Size: 754; UK Sample Size: 754

Participant exclusion criteria

1. Prior therapy for CLL
2. History or current evidence of Richter’s transformation
3. Major surgery within 4 weeks prior to randomisation
4. Active infection.
5. Above 20% P53 deletion, determined by FISH
6. Past history of anaphylaxis following exposure to rat or mouse derived CDR-grafted humanised monoclonal antibodies
7. Concomitant warfarin or equivalent vitamin K inhibitor
8. Pregnancy, lactation or women of child-bearing potential unwilling to use medically approved contraception whilst receiving treatment and for 12 months after treatment with rituximab has finished, or 30 days after treatment with ibrutinib has finished, whichever is latest. Women must agree to not donate eggs (ova, oocytes) for the purposes of assisted reproduction.
9. Men whose partners are capable of having children but who are not willing to use appropriate medically approved contraception whilst receiving treatment and for 12 months after treatment with rituximab has finished, or 3 months after treatment with ibrutinib has finished, whichever is latest, unless they are surgically sterile
10. CNS involvement with CLL
11. Symptomatic cardiac failure not controlled by therapy, or unstable angina not adequately controlled by current therapy (in patients with a significant cardiac history the left ventricular function should be assessed and patients with severe impairment should be excluded)
12. Respiratory impairment (bronchiectasis or moderate COPD)
13. Other severe, concurrent diseases or mental disorders that could interfere with their ability to participate in the study
14. Inability to swallow oral medication
15. Disease significantly affecting gastrointestinal function and/or inhibiting small intestine absorption (malabsorption syndrome, resection of the small bowel, poorly controlled inflammatory bowel disease etc)
16. Known HIV positive
17. Positive serology for Hepatitis B (HB) defined as a positive test for HBsAg. In addition, if negative for HBsAg but HBcAb positive (regardless of HBsAb status), a HB DNA test will be performed and if positive the subject will be excluded*
18. Positive serology for Hepatitis C (HC) defined as a positive test for HCAb, in which case reflexively perform a HC RIBA immunoblot assay on the same sample to confirm the result
19. History of prior malignancy, with the exception of the following:
19.1. Malignancy treated with curative intent and with no evidence of active disease present for more than 3 years prior to screening and felt to be at low risk for recurrence by treating physician
19.2. Adequately treated non-melanomatous skin cancer or lentigo maligna melanoma without current evidence of disease
19.3. Adequately treated cervical carcinoma in situ without current evidence of disease
20. Persisting severe pancytopenia (neutrophils <0.5 x 10^9/l or platelets <50 x 10^9/l) unless due to direct marrow infiltration by CLL
21. Current treatment with prednisolone of >10 mg/day
22. Active haemolysis (patients with haemolysis controlled with prednisolone at a dose 10 mg or less per day can be entered into the trial)
23. Patients with a creatinine clearance of less than 30 ml/min (either measured or derived by the Cockcroft Gault formula or alternative locally approved formula)
24. History of stroke or intracranial hemorrhage within 6 months prior to enrollment
25. Requirement for treatment with a strong CYP3A4/5 inhibitor or inducer

Recruitment start date


Recruitment end date



Countries of recruitment

United Kingdom

Trial participating centre

Clinical Trials Research Unit (CTRU), Woodhouse Lane
United Kingdom

Sponsor information


University of Leeds (UK)

Sponsor details

Clinical Trials Research Unit
Fairbairn House
71-75 Clarendon Road
United Kingdom

Sponsor type




Funder type


Funder name

Cancer Research UK; Grant Codes: C18027/A15790

Alternative name(s)

Funding Body Type

private sector organisation

Funding Body Subtype

other non-profit


United Kingdom

Funder name

Janssen Pharmaceutica NV

Alternative name(s)

Funding Body Type

Funding Body Subtype


Results and Publications

Publication and dissemination plan

Not provided at time of registration

Intention to publish date

Participant level data

Not provided at time of registration

Results - basic reporting

Publication summary

Publication citations

Additional files

Editorial Notes

18/10/2016: The recruitment start date has been updated from 01/08/2014 to 01/09/2014.