Recently, at the 12th International Conference on Malignant Lymphoma, Dr. Peter Martin, presented preliminary results from a phase I study evaluating palbociclib (also known as PD 0332991) combined with bortezomib in patients with previously treated mantle cell lymphoma. Mantle cell lymphoma is characterized by genetic changes that result in loss of cell cycle control, resulting in unrestrained cell proliferation. Palbociclib is an oral drug that specifically inhibits CDK4, enzyme that is central to the proliferation of mantle cell lymphoma cells. Data from WCMC demonstrated that palbociclib could arrest the growth of mantle cell lymphoma cells and that prolonged growth arrest could sensitize the cells to killing by low doses of bortezomib, thereby potentially improving its efficacy and tolerability. In our recent oral presentation at the ICML, we reported that palbociclib could be safely combined with low-dose bortezomib and that the combination appeared to have promising efficacy. Our results suggest that strategies to control the cell cycle should be explored.
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