Dr. Wang Discusses Next Steps With Acalabrutinib in MCL

Michael Wang, MD

Michael Wang, MD, a professor in the Department of Lymphoma and Myeloma at The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, discusses the next steps for research with acalabrutinib (Calquence) in mantle cell lymphoma (MCL).

The ECHO study, a large, international phase III trial involving over 100 institutions, is rapidly accruing. Researchers will be evaluating the addition of acalabrutinib to the commonly used regimen of rituximab (Rituxan) and bendamustine versus the combination plus placebo. This trial will include previously untreated elderly patients with MCL. If this frontline study is positive, Wang says, it will change the way oncologists manage this disease.

In a study presented at the 2018 ASH Annual Meeting, single-agent acalabrutinib showed tremendous promise in the relapsed/refractory population. At a median follow-up of 26.3 months, the overall response rate with acalabrutinib was 81% and proved consistent across subgroups based on tumor bulk. The median duration of response to the BTK inhibitor was 26 months, and the median progression-free survival was 20.0 months. Median overall survival was not yet reached, but the estimated 2-year OS rate was 72%. Data show the drug was also well tolerated.
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