Adding Cytarabine to Regimen Safe and Effective for Older MCL Patients


Italian researchers may have found a chemotherapy regimen that is both safe and effective for older patients diagnosed with mantle cell lymphoma (MCL).

Reporting in the Journal of Clinical Oncology, researchers led by lead author Carlo Visco, MD, conducted a small study involving 40 patients diagnosed with MCL. Nearly all (93 percent) had advanced stage disease, while half the group had received no prior treatments and the other half had relapsed or were determined to be refractory.

The regimen used was R-BAC, or bendamustine plus rituximab with the addition of cytarabine. The important aspect here is that the regimen does not include an anthracycline, which can be especially cardiotoxic with older patients.

After determining what maximum tolerated dose (MTD) of cytarabine in combination regimen, researchers moved forward with the dosing.

The results were surprisingly good.

  • The overall response rate (ORR) for all patients, determined with positron emission tomography (PET), was 90 percent.
  • The complete response rate (CR) was 83 percent.
  • The partial response rate (PR) was 7 percent.
  • Among the 20 previously untreated patients, the ORR was 100 percent.
  • Among the 20 previously treated patients, the ORR was 80 percent.

Not surprisingly, the previously treated patients experienced substantially more adverse events than the other group.

They concluded that the data from this Phase 2 trial indicated that this regimen was safe and effective for this patient population.

Source: JCO

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