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Lead Researcher Discusses Acalabrutinib Plus BR in MCL

Brandon Scalea
Published: Tuesday, Dec 18, 2018

Tycel J. Phillips, MD

Tycel J. Phillips, MD

Acalabrutinib (Calquence) combined with bendamustine, and rituximab (Rituxan; BR) demonstrated encouraging activity with a favorable safety profile in both treatment-naïve and relapsed/refractory patients with mantle cell lymphoma (MCL), according to data presented at the 2018 ASH Annual Meeting.

In the relapsed/refractory cohort, grade ≥3 AEs in ≥10% of patients were neutropenia (50%) and diarrhea (10%). Additionally, 1 patient experienced grade 1 pneumonia and 2 had grade 3 pneumonia. Three patients had a grade 3 major hemorrhage that were considered to be unrelated to acalabrutinib. Acalabrutinib, a second-generation BTK inhibitor, received FDA approval in October 2017 for the treatment of adult patients with MCL who were treated with at least 1 prior line of therapy.

In an interview with OncLive, lead study author Tycel J. Phillips, MD, an assistant professor at the University of Michigan Cancer Center, discussed the clinical implications of this regimen for patients with MCL and the next steps with these data.

OncLive: Please provide some background to this study.

Phillips: MCL is a rare subset of non-Hodgkin lymphoma (NHL); it affects about 5% to 6% of all patients with NHL but is more common in patients who are 65 years and older. We see it more in male patients, too. As of right now, we do not have an official standard of care. Research nowadays is geared toward determining an optimal regimen for these patients, either in the transplant-eligible or -ineligible population. As far as chemotherapy regimens are concerned, BR has been shown to be effective and well tolerated. In the relapsed/refractory setting, as we all know, BTK inhibitors have been very effective.

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