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3 Updates on Mantle Cell Lymphoma

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New research and updated treatment guidelines add to knowledge base on this rare blood cancer.

Mantle cell lymphoma (MCL) is a rare B-cell non-Hodgkin lymphoma blood cancer that can be fast or slow growing, and about one out of 200,000 individuals are diagnosed with the condition each year. Tumor cells originally come from the “mantle zone” of the lymph node, and MCL is usually diagnosed as a late-stage disease that has spread to the gastrointestinal tract and bone marrow. Here are three updates you should know about MCL.

Investigational novel drug class may help treat MCL

One recent study published in Clinical Cancer Research revealed that small molecule inhibitors of the SOX11 oncogene are toxic to MCL tumor development in human cells studied outside the body.“The SOX11 protein, which is expressed in up to 90% of mantle cell lymphoma patients, is an attractive target for therapy,” study author Samir Parekh, MD, professor of medicine, Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, said in a press release.

Real-world data show bendamustine-rituximab (BR) is the most commonly used first-line treatment in patients with MCL treated in community-based U.S. practices.

During the 2021 ASCO Annual meeting, Peter Martin, MD, of Weill Cornell Medicine presented the results from a retrospective real-world study from a cohort of 3,455 patients using data from a nationwide electronic health record database to identify first-line treatment patterns and outcomes. The study included data from adult MCL patients diagnosed between January 2011 and November 2020, and 85.3% were from a community oncology setting. The first-line standard of care in younger patients with advanced MCL is chemoimmunotherapy with or without autologous stem-cell transplantation (SCT). BR, rituximab plus cyclophosphamide, doxorubicin, vincristine, and prednisone (R-CHOP) are recommended for older patients. The retrospective study revealed that BR was the most commonly used first-line treatment and SCT was not commonly used even in patients under 65 years. Older age and high-risk disease features were indicative of worse health outcomes. “Real-world treatment patterns did not necessarily mimic recommendations based on clinical trials,” said Martin in a press release.It is important to keep in mind that retrospective studies show associations but are not designed to prove causation like prospective clinical trials.

  • Updated NCCN patient guidelines for MCL published

The NCCN recently published updated patient guidelines for MCL, which are written in consumer friendly language for patients. The guidelines include expanded information on the pathology and development of MCL, updated details on diagnostic tests, revised chapters on early and advanced MCL, and a new section on clinical trials. These guidelines provide MCL patients with a useful tool for shared decision making.

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