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Frontline Lenalidomide/Rituximab Combo Warrants Further Investigation in MCL

Angelica Welch
Published: Wednesday, Jan 10, 2018

Jia Ruan, MD, PhD
Jia Ruan, MD, PhD
Investigators have determined that the combination of lenalidomide (Revlimid) plus rituximab (Rituxan) can achieve a high rate of complete response (CR) and minimal residual disease (MRD) negativity when used as an initial treatment for patients with mantle cell lymphoma (MCL).

In an interview with OncLive during the meeting, Ruan discussed the pivotal analysis of this combination, as well as the next steps for this regimen in the field of MCL.

OncLive: Can you provide some background on this study?

Ruan: At the 2017 ASH Annual Meeting, we reported the long-term outcome of a phase II multicenter pilot study with the combination of lenalidomide plus rituximab as initial treatment for patients with MCL. We started this study in 2011 because we wanted to explore the combination of novel agents that are free of chemotherapy, which could provide an option that is not only effective but also convenient and can be used in an outpatient setting. We know that lenalidomide has activity in MCL, as does rituximab maintenance. In fact, they both extend survival for patients who have MCL, so it makes sense to combine those 2 agents. 

Again, because this is a phase II pilot study, we are hoping that with the long-term outcomes we can inspire more interest and momentum to conduct larger studies, either with this combination alone in comparison with other active regimens or building on this combination by adding additional novel agents. All of these would contribute to better outcomes for patients with MCL.

Are there any next steps with this study?

We are hoping that there will be additional large studies that evaluate this combination with a larger patient population. We would also hope that we could conduct a randomized study using this combination with other potentially active novel agents, or low-intensity chemotherapy that can be easily provided in the outpatient setting.


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