At the 55th annual American Society of Hematology Meeting, Dr. Jia Ruan presented preliminary data from a multi-center phase II investigator-initiated trial led by Weill Cornell Medical College. The trial demonstrated that the combination of lenalidomide + rituximab has a high complete response rate and is safe for patients with previously untreated mantle cell lymphoma (MCL). This study provides the first evidence that a chemotherapy-free, combination biologic approach is feasible as initial therapy for MCL. It signals a potential new paradigm for a non-chemotherapy treatment of MCL in its initial stage. Although a more precise assessment of response rate and durability will require further study, the data justifies evaluation of the lenalidomide + rituximab regimen both alone and as a platform for the integration of new drugs in combination approaches. Highlights from the trial include the following:
- The overall objective response rate for evaluable patients was 87%, with 57% of patients achieving a complete response.
- 93% of patients were still responding and all patients were alive at the one-year time point.
- Treatment was well tolerated, and no unexpected side effects were reported.