Dr. Gordon on Chemotherapy-Free Regimens in Follicular Lymphoma

Leo I. Gordon, MD
Published: Wednesday, Feb 27, 2019



Leo I. Gordon, MD, Abby and John Friend Professor of Oncology Research, professor of medicine (hematology and oncology), Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine, discusses emerging chemotherapy-free regimens in the treatment of patients with follicular lymphoma.

Recent data have suggested that a chemotherapy-free approach can potentially provide equal benefit to the standard regimens used in the treatment of patients with follicular lymphoma. Currently, the standard of care for most patients is chemotherapy with rituximab (Rituxan) plus either bendamustine or CHOP (cyclophosphamide, doxorubicin, vincristine, prednisone). Investigators are evaluating ways to improve that, Gordon says.

For example, a study conducted by investigators at The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center explored the combination of lenalidomide (Revlimid), rituximab, and ibrutinib (Imbruvica) in patients with follicular lymphoma and marginal zone lymphoma. These are early data, but the overall response rate and complete response rates seen with the combination have been encouraging—approximately 90% and 80%, respectively. Gordon notes that these findings were surprising because the BTK inhibitor ibrutinib had largely fallen short in this patient population based in early studies; however, there may be synergy with these other agents.
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Leo I. Gordon, MD, Abby and John Friend Professor of Oncology Research, professor of medicine (hematology and oncology), Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine, discusses emerging chemotherapy-free regimens in the treatment of patients with follicular lymphoma.

Recent data have suggested that a chemotherapy-free approach can potentially provide equal benefit to the standard regimens used in the treatment of patients with follicular lymphoma. Currently, the standard of care for most patients is chemotherapy with rituximab (Rituxan) plus either bendamustine or CHOP (cyclophosphamide, doxorubicin, vincristine, prednisone). Investigators are evaluating ways to improve that, Gordon says.

For example, a study conducted by investigators at The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center explored the combination of lenalidomide (Revlimid), rituximab, and ibrutinib (Imbruvica) in patients with follicular lymphoma and marginal zone lymphoma. These are early data, but the overall response rate and complete response rates seen with the combination have been encouraging—approximately 90% and 80%, respectively. Gordon notes that these findings were surprising because the BTK inhibitor ibrutinib had largely fallen short in this patient population based in early studies; however, there may be synergy with these other agents.

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