The combination of lenalidomide and rituximab overcomes prior rituximab resistance in patients with indolent B-cell and mantle cell lymphomas, a recent study published in the journal Clinical Cancer Research has shown.

For the single-center, phase II study, researchers sought to investigate whether the addition of lenalidomide, an immunomodulatory agent that enhances antibody-dependent cell-mediated cytotoxicity, could improve clinical outcomes in patients with certain B-cell lymphomas who were previously resistant to rituximab treatment.

Researchers enrolled 50 patients with either indolent B-cell lymphoma or mantle cell lymphoma who were previously rituximab-resistant.

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All patients received lenalidomide 10mg daily for 8 weeks, followed by rituximab 375mg/m2 weekly for 4 weeks. Patients continued to receive lenalidomide during and after rituximab.

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Results showed that for the 43 evaluable patients, the overall response rate after 8 weeks of lenalidomide was 30.2% and 62.8% 12 weeks after addition of rituximab to lenalidomide. For all 50 patients, the median progression-free survival was 22.2 months after a median follow-up of 39.2 months.

Researchers found that progression-free survival after receiving this drug combination was significantly longer than the progression-free survival for the standard regimen used to overcome rituximab resistance (22.2 vs. 9.13 months; P = 0.0004).