HOUSTON - In a major international study led by researchers at The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, the targeted therapy ibrutinib continues to show remarkable promise for the treatment of relapsed or refractory mantle cell lymphoma (MCL).
The most recent interim findings of the 18-center Phase 2 study were published today in the New England Journal of Medicine. Previous interim findings were presented in December 2012 at the 54th American Society of Hematology Annual Meeting and Exposition.
Unprecedented results, fewer side effects
"This oral inhibitor of the Bruton's tyrosine kinase in the B-cell receptor pathway is the most important breakthrough to date in the treatment of mantle cell lymphoma," said Michael Wang, M.D., associate professor in MD Anderson's Departments of Lymphoma and Myeloma and Stem Cell Transplantation and Cellular Therapy. Wang is lead author of the trial.
"It is an oral drug, taken once a day, and its side effects are not severe. Yet it can achieve more than previous combination chemotherapy approaches. Our results constitute excellent news for our patients and patients around the world."
The ongoing trial of oral ibrutinib in patients with heavily treated relapsed or refractory MCL has maintained a response rate as high as 70 percent - better than any other single agent ever tested in the challenging disease with milder side effects than other treatments.
Targeted approach to dangerous disease
MCL is a rare and aggressive B-cell subtype of non-Hodgkin lymphoma that, according to the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society, accounts for 6 percent of non-Hodgkin cases. Despite high response rates to initial highly toxic combination-drug chemotherapy, patients often relapse.
The B-cell receptor pathway is critical in B-cell lymphoma, and Bruton's tyrosine kinase (BTK) is an essential component of this pathway. Ibrutinib targets the BTK molecule,
|Contact: Laura Sussman|
University of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer Center