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Ibrutinib proves strong defense against mantle cell lymphoma

Latest results confirm high rate of response, remission

Michael Wang, M.D.In a major international study led by MD Anderson researchers, the targeted therapy ibrutinib continues to show remarkable promise for the treatment of relapsed or refractory mantle cell lymphoma (MCL).

The most recent interim findings of the 18-center Phase II study were published in June in the New England Journal of Medicine.

“This oral inhibitor of the Bruton’s tyrosine kinase in the B-cell receptor pathway is the most important breakthrough to date in the treatment of mantle cell lymphoma,” says Michael Wang, M.D., MD Anderson associate professor in Lymphoma and Myeloma and Stem Cell Transplantation and Cellular Therapy. Wang is lead author of the trial.

“It’s an oral drug, taken once a day, and its side effects are not severe. Yet it can achieve more than previous combination chemotherapy approaches,” says Wang. “Our results constitute excellent news for patients around the world.”

Pharmacyclics, Inc., which developed ibrutinib, sponsored the clinical trial.

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