Lenalidomide plus rituximab produced durable and long-term responses in previously untreated patients with mantle cell lymphoma, according to a new study published in The New England Journal of Medicine.1

Mantle cell lymphoma is a rare form of B-cell non-Hodgkin lymphoma that has a median survival of only 4 to 5 years.

Most commonly, patients receive CHOP (cyclophosphamide, doxorubicin, vincristine, prednisone) with or without rituximab, but this intensive treatment is often associated with significant adverse events and less frequently use among older adults. Therefore, researchers hope to improve initial treatments for mantle cell lymphoma by using biologic-based regimens that cause fewer toxicities.

Continue Reading

For the study, researchers at the Moffitt Cancer Center and Weill Cornell Medical College evaluated the combination of lenalidomide plus rituximab in 38 treatment-naïve patients with mantle cell lymphoma. Participants received the combination for approximately 1 year, followed by low-dose treatment for up to 3 years.

Results showed that 92% of patients achieved an objective response, with 64% of patients achieving a complete response. Furthermore, the combination treatment induced durable responses, with 85% of patients being alive at 2 years after treatment without disease progression.

In regard to safety, the most common high-grade immune-associated adverse events were neutropenia, thrombocytopenia, and anemia. The most common non-immune–related side effects were rash, tumor flare, fatigue, and pneumonia.

“The lenalidomide plus rituximab regimen stands out because it is a low intensity therapy. Usually, standard treatment with this disease is intensive chemotherapy or aggressive stem cell transplants. We were able to avoid both of those,” said Bijal D. Shah, MD, assistant member of the Malignant Hematology Department at Moffitt.


1. Lenalidomide plus rituximab produces durable responses in mantle cell lymphoma patients [news release]. EurekAlert! web site. http://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2015-11/hlmc-lpr111215.php. Published November 12, 2015. Accessed November 12, 2015.