Update: this study is closed to enrollment.
Arguably the most exciting news to come from the American Society of Hematology (ASH) meeting this year was the presentation by Dr. Michael Wang of preliminary results from the phase 2 trial of PCI-32765 for patients with previously treated mantle cell lymphoma (MCL). PCI-32765 is an oral (pill form) inhibitor of an enzyme called Bruton’s Tyrosine Kinase (BTK). BTK plays an important role in communicating pro-survival signals from the cell microenvironment to the nucleus of the cell. Inhibition of BTK by PCI-32765 demonstrated promise in patients with MCL in a national phase 1 that was open at Weill Cornell Medical College. This phase 2 study, also open at Weill Cornell, demonstrated a response rate of approximately 60-70% with little toxicity (mostly mild gastrointestinal side-effects). It is too early to determine how long these effects will last or whether there are any side effects that will become apparent with longer treatment. Click here for more information about this trial.
Dr. Beata Holkova presented the results of a National Cancer Institute (NCI) phase 2 study that was open at several institutions across the country, including Weill Cornell. The trial evaluated the combination of bortezomib (FDA-approved for treatment of patients with previously treated MCL) plus the histone deacetylase inhibitor vorinostat. The combination demonstrated synergistic activity in preclinical studies and showed promised in earlier trials in patients with multiple myeloma. Preliminary results from this NCI trial were encouraging, particularly in the group of patients with MCL that had never been treated with bortezomib. The trial is ongoing. Click here for more information about this study.