Mantle cell lymphoma is caused by a genetic mutation which produces cancerous white blood cells. Of course, these are the cells which fight infection in a normal body. Therefore in addition to cancer, these individuals are left with no defense mechanism against infectious agents. Patients diagnosed with the mantle cell lymphoma were normally given a life expectancy of 4 years or less, even with chemotherapy.
However, in April of this year, Australian researchers announced the development of a new combination of therapies which put 70% of patients in their clinical trials into complete remission!
Researchers at the Royal Melbourne Hospital have been researching Mantle cell lymphoma for the past 30 years with little success. But this new development was groundbreaking. For the majority of patients, it completely changed the prognosis of their disease.
Unfortunately, there was still the 30% of patients the treatment didn’t work for. After some analysis researchers found that these patients all shared a genetic mutation which allowed the cancer to produce a protein which made it resistant to the treatment.
Researchers weren’t about to give up on these patients.
After months more of investigation, they found that adding an additional drug to the therapy suppressed the protein.
Clinical trials for this new development will begin next year. If the trials with humans have positive results, this new combination of therapies could mean that 100% of mantle cell lymphoma patients will have a treatment option. Ultimately, this could be a cure for the disease.
The hope is that this new treatment will become commonplace. Not only could this treatment increase survival, it would eliminate the need for chemotherapy- improving patient’s quality of life.
Stay tuned to hear updates on the clinical trial! In the meantime, you can read more about this new research here!