The combination of temsirolimus, a mammalian target of rapamycin inhibitor, and bortezomib, a proteasome inhibitor, is safe and has activity in patients with heavily pretreated B-cell non-Hodgkin lymphoma (NHL), a new study published online ahead of print in the journal Cancer has shown.

For the single-arm, phase II trial, researchers enrolled 39 patients with relapsed/refractory B-cell NHL. Participants received bortezomib and temsirolimus weekly on days 1, 8, 15, and 22, of each 35-day cycle.

Results showed that 7.7% (95% CI: 1.6, 21) achieved a complete response and 23% (95% CI: 11, 39) of patients achieved a partial response, which corresponds to an overall response rate of 31% (95% CI: 17, 48).

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Researchers found that median progression-free survival was 4.7 months (95% CI: 2.1, 7.8). Specifically, median progression-free survival was 2 months for patients with diffuse large B-cell lymphoma, 7.5 months for patients with mantle cell lymphoma, and 16.5 months for those with follicular lymphoma.

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In regard to safety, there were no unexpected treatment-related toxicities.

The findings suggest that further studies are warranted to evaluate this combination in certain subtypes of NHL, particularly follicular lymphoma.


  1. Fenske TS, Shah NM, Kim KM, et al. A phase 2 study of weekly temsirolimus and bortezomib for relapsed or refractory B-cell non-Hodgkin lymphoma: A Wisconsin Oncology Network study. 2015. [Epub ahead of print]. doi: 10.1002/cncr.29502.