• MCL therapy with BR-based induction and rituximab-based maintenance gave 88% overall response rate, MRD- rate 91%, and median PFS 6.9 years

  • Neither adding bortezomib to induction nor lenalidomide to maintenance or both improved PFS in this older (87% over 59 years) cohort

While initial therapy of mantle cell lymphoma (MCL) is not standardized, bendamustine-rituximab (BR) is commonly used in older patients. Rituximab (R) maintenance following induction is often utilized. Thus, the open-label, randomized phase II ECOG-ACRIN Cancer Research Group E1411 trial was designed to test two questions: 1) Does addition of bortezomib to BR induction (BVR) and/or 2) addition of lenalidomide to rituximab (LR) maintenance improve progression-free survival (PFS) in patients with treatment-naïve MCL? From 2012-2016, 373 previously untreated patients, 87% ≥ 60 years old, were enrolled in this trial. At a median follow up of 7.5 years, there is no difference in the median PFS of BR compared to BVR (5.5 yrs vs. 6.4 yrs, HR 0.90, 90% CI 0.70, 1.16). There were no unexpected additional toxicities with BVR treatment compared to BR, with no impact on total dose/duration of treatment received. Independent of the induction treatment, addition of lenalidomide to rituximab did not significantly improve PFS, with median PFS in R vs LR (5.9 yrs vs 7.2 yrs, HR 0.84 90% CI 0.62, 1.15). The majority of patients completed the planned 24 cycles of LR at the scheduled dose. In summary, adding bortezomib to BR induction does not prolong PFS in treatment-naïve MCL, and LR maintenance was not associated with longer PFS compared with rituximab alone following BR. Nonetheless, the > 5 year median PFS outcomes in this prospective cooperative group trial indicate the efficacy of BR followed by rituximab maintenance as highly effective initial therapy for older MCL patients. (NCT01415752)

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