Dr. Karmali on the Importance of Evaluating Older Patients With MCL in the Rituximab Era

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Reem Karmali, MD, MS, discusses the importance of evaluating older patients with mantle cell lymphoma in the rituximab era.

Reem Karmali, MD, MS, assistant professor of medicine, Northwestern University’s Feinberg School of Medicine, discusses the importance of evaluating older patients with mantle cell lymphoma (MCL) in the rituximab (Rituxan) era.

At the 2020 ASCO Virtual Scientific Program, findings from a retrospective analysis of older patients with MCL revealed that maintenance rituximab led to an improvement in progression-free and overall survival while autologous hematopoietic cell transplant (AHCT) did not.

However, as this analysis predates the introduction of BTK inhibitors and cellular therapies in the treatment of patients with MCL, these data do not reflect the survival advantages that these therapies may confer, explains Karmali.

Despite this, these findings suggest that optimizing maintenance therapy can offer a survival advantage for older patients, as well as younger patients who have undergone AHCT, says Karmali.

Additionally, these data can serve as a historical reference with which to compare the clinical impact of novel therapies, concludes Karmali.

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