Lymphoma in the News: Choice of Pre-Transplant Chemotherapy Regimen May Not Be As Important As Other Factors in Mantle Cell Lymphoma

By Peter Martin, MD

Investigators at Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in Seattle recently reported the results of retrospective study of 118 patients with mantle cell lymphoma. After receiving a variety of first-line chemotherapy regimens, including R-HyperCVAD and R-CHOP, 85 patients underwent consolidation with autologous stem cell transplantation. Initially, it appeared that patients who received an aggressive induction regimen, like R-HyperCVAD, had a better outcome following stem cell transplantation. Interestingly, after controlling for other prognostic factors, like age, LDH, White Blood Cell count, and performance status, it became apparent that choice of induction chemotherapy had little effect on outcome after transplant. In other words, patients that had a better baseline prognosis were more likely to be treated with aggressive first-line regimens, which gave the appearance that the more aggressive regimens were responsible for better outcomes. Click here to read the abstract.

This study is important because it helps us to contextualize the results of many of the phase 2 studies that have been published on mantle cell lymphoma. It is possible that the results of phase 2 studies appear to be more or less impressive than standard therapies because there is no comparison group; i.e., it is the baseline prognostic factors of the patients that explain the results rather than the treatment regimen being tested. Retrospective studies, such as the study from Seattle, are also prone to bias because it is difficult to control for everything, particularly prognostic factors that we don’t yet know about. That is why randomized studies comparing at least two regimens are of critical importance. Only randomized studies can distinguish the between the good and bad effects of two or more regimens. Continue reading “Lymphoma in the News: Choice of Pre-Transplant Chemotherapy Regimen May Not Be As Important As Other Factors in Mantle Cell Lymphoma”

Clinical Trial: Bruton’s Tyrosine Kinase (Btk) Inhibitor PCI-32765 in Relapsed/Refractory Mantle Cell Lymphoma

Update: this study is closed to enrollment. 

Bruton tyrosine kinase (Btk) is an enzyme that plays a crucial role in the development of the normal immune system. Recent studies indicate that Btk may also play a role in many B-cell lymphomas.

PCI-32765 is an investigational drug that irreversibly inhibits Btk. A phase 1 trials performed at several sites, including Weill Cornell Medical Center, demonstrated that PCI-32765 was well tolerated with minimal side effects.

In this phase 2 study, we are evaluating the efficacy of PCI-32765 (four pills take once daily) in patients with previously treated mantle cell lymphoma. We hope to learn how well PCI-32765 works and more about its side-effect profile.

To learn more about this study, please contact June Greenberg, RN at (212) 746-2651 or email June at

Click here to view the clinical and research profile of Peter Martin, MD, the physician leading the study at Weill Cornell Medical Center.