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Posted by on Jun 21, 2018 in Non-Hodgkin lymphoma | 0 comments

In a nutshell

This study investigated the safety and effectiveness of ibrutinib (Imbruvica) for patients with relapsed or refractory (does not respond to treatment) mantle cell lymphoma. This study concluded that ibrutinib is effective and well tolerated in everyday clinical practice.

Some background

Mantle cell lymphoma (MCL) is a rare but aggressive type of non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. Patients who relapse after initial therapy or develop refractory disease tend to have poor outcomes. For these patients, ibrutinib has become the preferred therapy.

Ibrutinib is a targeted therapy. This type of treatment only targets cancer cells, and blocks their growth. This leads to cancer cell death. The safety and effectiveness of ibrutinib for relapsed or refractory MCL patients in everyday clinical practice remains under investigation.

Methods & findings

This study analyzed the medical records of 77 patients with relapsed or refractory mantle cell lymphoma. 89.6% of patients had stage 3 or 4 disease. Patients had disease that was refractory after first-line treatment (primary refractory disease; 48.1%) or multiple treatments (22.1%). The average follow-up time was 38 months.

Overall, 36.4% of patients responded to treatment. Significantly fewer patients with primary refractory disease responded to treatment (13.5%) compared to patients with refractory disease after multiple treatments (50.1%).

Overall survival (time from treatment until death from any cause) was 37.8% after 40 months of treatment. Progression-free survival (time from treatment until disease progression) was 30%. Four-year disease-free survival (time after treatment without any signs or symptoms of cancer) was 78.6%.

Diarrhea (9.4%) and lung infections (9.0%) led to early treatment discontinuation. 14.3% of patients had low platelet count (cells involved in blood clotting). 16.9% of patients developed lymphocytosis (increase in white blood cell count). Irregular heartbeat (5.2%) and bleeding (3.9%) were also reported.

The bottom line

This study concluded that ibrutinib is effective and well tolerated in everyday clinical practice.

The fine print

This study was retrospective, meaning it looked back in time to analyze data. The patient population in this study was also quite small. Larger studies are needed to confirm these results.

Published By :


Date :

May 04, 2018

Original Title :

Italian real life experience with ibrutinib: results of a large observational study on 77 relapsed/refractory mantle cell lymphoma.

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