Noteworthy Data on MCL: ASH 2019

Insights From: Michael Wang, MD, The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center


Michael Wang, MD:
I think the top abstract in mantle cell lymphoma is the ZUMA-2 protocol I presented. I’m a little biased maybe, but that’s really what I want to see. The second thing is my good friend and my colleague, Stephen J. Schuster, MD, from University of Pennsylvania. He presented the CD28 bispecific antibody, and in about 26 patients or 29 patients, he was able to show with large cell lymphoma…. Some of the patients already relapsed after the CAR [chimeric antigen receptor] T-cell therapies. So, we are using too many CAR T therapies. CAR T therapy cannot cure all the patients. There are some 39%, 40% have long-term remission. What happened to the 60% who relapse? Dr Schuster and his colleagues were able to use a bispecific antibody to rescue some of the patients with CAR T-cell therapy. That’s really the major advance in my opinion. It rightfully was presented in the plenary session. You have to be in the top 20 to make plenary session. That was a really good session, and Dr Schuster did a wonderful job. I’ve admired his work for years, and we have scientific exchanges. So that project, not just because it was Dr Schuster, but I really think we presented the cutting edge of progression of overcoming CAR T resistance.

To my colleagues and friends in the community, the academic lymphoma doctors welcome you and thank you, appreciate your continued support, and welcome your future interactions. Mantle cell lymphoma is a very rare disease. It’s only about 5% of lymphoma. Usually the community oncologists, in their whole entire career only treat 1 or 2 patients. It’s very hard for them to grab the massive data that are coming with every 6 months of major changes. When you have these types of patients, please get our support. We may have a clinical trial that’s chemotherapy-free that we would give the patient.

Also please relax, we’re not going to take your patient away from you. We will give you a clinical trial. We co-manage the patient because I’m treating patients from Hawaii, Alaska, Cayman Islands, Canada, Vermont, California, North Dakota, and so forth. Every day I’m dealing with a patient. I’m not able to keep them in Houston, Texas. I have to work with the community doctors to take good care of the patients together. Please attend ASCO [American Society of Clinical Oncology], AACR [American Association for Cancer Research] where new data are presented, and please attend the CME [continuing medical education] activities as much as you can. Please interact with the academic doctors as much as you can, so that we can together use the most cutting-edge therapies for our patients.

Transcript Edited for Clarity 
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