Dr. Leonard on Rituximab Maintenance Strategy for Patients With MCL

John P. Leonard, MD
Published: Monday, May 15, 2017



John P. Leonard, MD, professor of Medicine at Weill Cornell Medicine/NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital, discusses the maintenance strategy of rituximab (Rituxan) for patients with mantle cell lymphoma (MCL).

Maintenance therapy with rituximab has shown a benefit in MCL after CHOP or R-CHOP therapy, Leonard explains. It has additionally shown a benefit after patients undergo autologous stem cell transplant, in both improving progression-free survival and overall survival. However, it has not been quite as well established after bendamustine-based therapy in elderly patients.

Moreover, an ECOG intergroup 4-arm study is looking at bendamustine and rituximab that includes adding bortezomib (Velcade) as an induction therapy. It also includes the addition of rituximab or rituximab and lenalidomide (Revlimid) as 1 of the maintenance therapies. Overall, Leonard adds, rituximab maintenance has a clear value in treating patients with MCL, and it would make sense that adding lenalidomide or some other novel agents over time could also make a difference.


John P. Leonard, MD, professor of Medicine at Weill Cornell Medicine/NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital, discusses the maintenance strategy of rituximab (Rituxan) for patients with mantle cell lymphoma (MCL).

Maintenance therapy with rituximab has shown a benefit in MCL after CHOP or R-CHOP therapy, Leonard explains. It has additionally shown a benefit after patients undergo autologous stem cell transplant, in both improving progression-free survival and overall survival. However, it has not been quite as well established after bendamustine-based therapy in elderly patients.

Moreover, an ECOG intergroup 4-arm study is looking at bendamustine and rituximab that includes adding bortezomib (Velcade) as an induction therapy. It also includes the addition of rituximab or rituximab and lenalidomide (Revlimid) as 1 of the maintenance therapies. Overall, Leonard adds, rituximab maintenance has a clear value in treating patients with MCL, and it would make sense that adding lenalidomide or some other novel agents over time could also make a difference.



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