New Clinical Trial: Lenalidomide + Rituximab as Front-Line Therapy for Untreated Mantle Cell Lymphoma

Update: this study is closed to enrollment. 

The Weill Cornell Lymphoma Program is now enrolling patients in a new, investigator-initiated phase II study of lenalidomide in combination with rituximab in patients with previously untreated Mantle Cell Lymphoma (MCL). The study is led by Jia Ruan, MD. This study may be a good option for patients with MCL who need to travel to New York City to participate in a trial because lenalidomide, the study medication, can be taken at home. After the first month on study, patients will be seen in clinic on average of once a month.

Significant progress has been made in the treatment of mantle cell lymphoma; however, the majority of patients with Mantle Cell Lymphoma are not cured of their disease with current available chemotherapy-based options. The initial treatment for MCL is not standardized, and intensive chemotherapy does not seem to provide substantial benefit compared to conservative management in terms of long-term survival and quality-of-life measurements.

Researchers have recently discovered that the tumor microenvironment—the normal cells and blood vessels that surround a tumor–can contribute to tumor growth by providing blood supply and creating an environment that allows the tumor to grow. Biological compounds that disrupt the interaction and dependence of tumor cells with their microenvironment have shown promise in lymphoma therapy, including mantle cell lymphoma.

The purpose of this study is to test the synergy of combining lenalidomide, a biological agent that targets the tumor microenvironment, and rituximab, an antibody that targets lymphoma cells. By including a maintenance phase of lenalidomide and rituximab therapy, we hope to improve treatment effectiveness and maintain quality of life for patients.

The study has two phases:

Induction Phase, Weeks 1-48:

  •  Treatment dose lenalidomide taken by mouth on days 1-21 of a 28-day cycle for 12 cycles
  •  Rituximab infusion for a total of 9 doses

Maintenance Phase, Week 49 until disease progression or for a maximum of 5 years from study entry:

  • Maintenance dose lenalidominde taken by mouth on days 1-21 of a 28-day cycle
  • Rituximab infusion one dose every 8 weeks

Key eligibility:

  • Men and women ≥ age 18
  • Mantle cell non-Hodgkin lymphoma
  • No prior systemic therapy for lymphoma including chemotherapy or immunotherapy;  Patients may have received involved-field radiation therapy
  • Low- and intermediate-risk disease or those not appropriate for chemotherapy

To learn more about this study or to find out if you are eligible, please contact June Greenberg, RN, at 212-746-2651 or email June at

Click here to read Dr. Ruan’s clinical and research profile.

Author: lymphomaprogram

Located on the Upper East Side of New York City, the Lymphoma Program at Weill Cornell Medical College/NewYork Presbyterian Hospital is internationally recognized for our efforts to enable patients with non-Hodgkin lymphoma, Hodgkin disease and related disorders to have the best possible clinical outcome, including cure when possible.

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