Lugano Conference: Rituximab + Lenalidomide Prolonged Remission in Mantle Cell Lymphoma

Weill Cornell’s Dr. Rebecca Elstrom is attending the 11th International Conference on Malignant Lymphoma in Lugano, Switzerland and provides this update:

Researchers from MD Anderson Cancer Center reported results of a study of the combination of rituximab and lenalidomide in relapsed and refractory mantle cell lymphoma (MCL) at the 11th International Conference on Malignant Lymphoma on Thursday, June 16. The study included 52 patients treated on a combined phase 1/phase II study. The researchers found that more than half (57.8%) of patients responded to treatment, and most responses lasted for at least 18 months.  The combination was very well tolerated, with few bothersome side effects.  These results are striking for this group of patients, especially as many had not responded to previous therapy.

The combination of rituximab and lenalidomide is of interest because both drugs work, at least in part, by promoting the patient’s immune system to destroy lymphoma cells, and laboratory studies have suggested that each drug may make the other work better.  In addition to mantle cell lymphoma, this combination is being investigated in other B-cell lymphoma subtypes.

Weill Cornell Medical Center is conducting a study of the combination of rituximab and lenalidomide in follicular lymphoma. The study is sponsored by The Cancer and Leukemia Group B (CALGB) and is being led at Weill Cornell  by Dr. Elstrom. (Update: this study is closed to enrollment.)

Lymphoma Vaccine Increases Disease-Free Survival in Clinical Trial

By Peter Martin, MD

Researchers at The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center report that a follicular lymphoma vaccine uniquely tailored for each patient extended disease-free survival by 14 months. The results were recently published online in the Journal of Clinical Oncology. Click here to read the published abstract.

To make the vaccine, unique proteins from each patient’s tumor were isolated and combined with a delivery agent and a growth factor. This mixture was then injected back into the patient.

Earlier studies have shown that lymphoma vaccines are able to induce anti-tumor immune responses in some patients. Importantly, patients that produced an immune response seemed to have longer remissions than those that did not. However, when the vaccines were tested in phase 3 studies, the results were not as impressive. Two phase 3 studies comparing vaccines vs no vaccine in patients with follicular lymphoma have been reported. The MD Anderson study is the first phase 3 study to demonstrate a benefit for patients receiving vaccine.

Notably, there were a few important differences between the most recent study and the two prior studies. Continue reading “Lymphoma Vaccine Increases Disease-Free Survival in Clinical Trial”

Follicular Lymphoma Clinical Trial

Combination Veltuzumab (Anti-CD20) and Fractionated 90Y- Epratuzumab (Anti-CD22) Radioimmunotherapy in Patients with Follicular Lymphoma

Update: this study is closed to enrollment. 

Monoclonal antibodies can fight lymphoma by binding to proteins expressed on lymphoma cells and either directly killing or inducing the immune system to kill the tumor cells.

With radioimmunotherapy, the antibody is labeled with a radioactive molecule, allowing directed delivery of radiation to the lymphoma.  Radioimmunotherapy is effective in follicular lymphoma, but immune reactions against the radiolabeled antibody have limited the utility of this approach.

In this study, we are evaluating the combination of an unlabeled antibody to one lymphoma-associated protein (CD20) with a radio-labeled antibody to a different lymphoma-associated protein (CD22), in hopes of improving responses. The antibodies are modified to minimize immune responses, and both antibodies will be given in repeated doses in order to increase the total amount of drug administered while limiting side effects.


  • Follicular lymphoma
  • No more than 2 prior systemic treatments for non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma
  • Detailed eligibility discussed when you contact the study team

For more information, contact June Greenberg, RN at (212) 746-2651 or

Click here to view all lymphoma clinical trials at Weill Cornell Medical Center.