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.)