Diffuse Large B-Cell Lymphoma: Combination Treatment Superior to Systemic Therapy in Retrospective Study

According to a story from Cancer Network, the results of a recent retrospective study have found that a two-part combination treatment for diffuse large B-cell lymphoma (DLBCL), a rare cancer, produces greater overall survival in comparison to systemic treatments. The combination consists of tafasitamab (marketed at Monjuvi) and lenalidomide (marketed as Revlimid). The data drew from 3,454 patients from around the world from 2010-2020.

About Diffuse Large B-Cell Lymphoma (DLBCL)

Diffuse large B-cell lymphoma (DLBCL), as the name suggests, is a cancer that affects B cells, which are a type of white blood cell. These cells are responsible for producing antibodies. There is a diverse array of different variants and subtypes of this cancer, and it is the most common form of non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma in adults. Although it can occur in children and young adults in the rarest cases, this type of lymphoma primarily affects older people, usually around 70 or older. Symptoms are typical of many lymphomas, and include night sweats, fatigue, unexpected weight loss, a noticeable mass in the lymph nodes, and fever. Risk factors include underlying immunodeficiencies and infection from the Epstein-Barr virus and Helicobacter pylori. Occasionally, this lymphoma can transform from other types of blood cancer. Treatment includes chemotherapy, rituximab, stem cell transplantation, and immunotherapy; the five-year survival rate is 58 percent. To learn more about diffuse large B-cell lymphoma, click here.

The Study

The tafasitamab plus lenalidomide combination was compared to a pool of systemic therapies. These included:

  • Rituximab (marketed as Rituxan) and bendamustine (a form of chemotherapy)
  • Rituximab plus gemcitabine and oxaliplatin

The median overall survival using the combination was 34.1 months; meanwhile the pooled systemic therapies only produced a median survival of 11.6 months. Results were similar when the combination was compared separately to both systemic regimens. The findings illustrate the critical advantages that the combination has over systemic treatments.

The study also looked at other measures, such as overall response rate, progression-free survival, complete response, time to next treatment, and duration of response. In comparison to the pooled systemic therapies and ritxuimab-gemcitabine-oxaliplatin, the combination had better overall response rate and complete response; it was also better than rituximab and bendamustine, but the difference was not statistically significant. Progression free survival was also better at 12.1 months vs 5.8 months for pooled systemic therapies.

Check out the abstract of this study here.

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