Lenalidomide plus rituximab may be more effective for the treatment of mucosa-associated lymphoid tissue lymphoma (MALT lymphoma) than lenalidomide alone, according to a study published in Blood.1

Rituximab and lenalidomide were previously shown to be active in hematologic malignancies. A previous study showed, however, that lenalidomide alone had a complete response rate of only 33% in MALT lymphoma.

For the phase 2 AGMT MALT-2 trial (ClinicalTrials.gov Identifier: NCT01611259), 46 patients with MALT lymphoma were enrolled and evaluated for treatment with lenalidomide plus rituximab.

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The objective response rate with this treatment combination was 80%; the time to best response averaged 3.6 months. More than half of the patients achieved a complete response, and the 27-month progression-free survival was 91%.

No grade 4 non-hematologic adverse events were reported; common mild adverse events included musculoskeletal pain, fatigue, cough/respiratory infection, diarrhea, and vertigo. Grade 3-4 neutropenia occurred in 18.8% of patients.

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Lenalidomide plus rituximab, according to the study’s authors, is a safe and efficacious treatment in MALT lymphoma, regardless of previous treatment and primary localization.


  1. Kiesewetter B, Willenbacher E, Willenbacher W, et al. A phase II study of rituximab plus lenalidomide for mucosa-associated lymphoid tissue lymphoma (MALT lymphoma). Blood. 2016 Nov 22. doi: 10.1182/blood-2016-06-720599 [Epub ahead of print]