Recently Dr. John Leonard was interviewed by the Lymphoma Research Foundation and answered questions about the current state of treatment for patients with mantle cell lymphoma (MCL). Specifically, they discussed how results from the 2015, New England Journal of Medicine published study, “Lenalidomide plus Rituximab as Initial Treatment for Mantle Cell Lymphoma” has improved the treatment options for MCL patients. This multi-center phase 2 study showed that a combination therapy, lacking many of the typical debilitating effects of traditional cancer treatment could effectively manage MCL by inducing remissions in the vast majority of patients.
Dr. Leonard, the study’s senior author, described the potential impact of this research and how it could improve our understanding of MCL and treatment as follows,
“This research provides an additional option for patients with MCL and represents the first study of a non-chemotherapy approach that is generally of lower intensity than usual initial treatment. The fact that the majority of patients had durable disease control, with good quality of life, suggests that this approach may have value for some patients. Ongoing research will better assess the longer term outcomes with this approach, and how it either compares with or can be combined with other treatments. This study demonstrates the value of potentially using newer agents as part of initial treatment in MCL, rather than holding off until the disease recurs later.”
In April 2016 the study was nominated by the Clinical Research Forum as one of their Top 10 Clinical Research Achievement Awards of 2016. The 10 winning papers were chosen based on their degree of innovation from a pool of more than 40 nominations from 30 research and academic health centers nationwide.
In the video below you can watch the study’s lead author Dr. Jia Ruan describe the importance of her team’s findings.