Researchers reported a number of important findings in lymphoma treatment at the 2017 Annual Meeting of the American Society of Clinical Oncology:

Brentuximab vedotin evaluated as part of a frontline chemotherapy regimen for advanced classical Hodgkin lymphoma

ECHELON-1 is a randomized, multicenter phase lll trial designed to evaluate brentuximab vedotin as part of a frontline chemotherapy regimen for previously untreated advanced classical Hodgkin lymphoma (HL).

The trial compared the combination of AVD (adriamycin, vinblastine and dacarbazine) plus brentuximab vedotin to the current standard of care, ABVD (AVD plus bleomycin).

What Patients Need to Know

Trial participants treated with AVD plus brentuximab vedotin demonstrated a statistically significant improvement in modified progression-free survival (the length of time that the cancer does not grow or spread) compared to those treated with ABVD.

The safety profile of brentuximab vedotin in combination with AVD appeared consistent with what was previously found for brentuximab vedotin used as single agent.

Copanlisib granted accelerated approval for treatment of relapsed follicular lymphoma

The CHRONOS-1 trial studied copanlisib for the treatment of patients with relapsed follicular B-cell non-Hodgkin lymphoma who had received at least two prior treatment types. Copanlisib is a targeted treatment that works by blocking several enzymes that promote cell growth.

In the trial, 59 percent of patients had a complete or partial response for a median of 12.2 months.

What Patients Need to Know

In September 2017, the FDA granted accelerated approval to copanlisib for the treatment of adults with relapsed follicular lymphoma who had received at least two prior systemic therapies. Further trials are required to confirm copanlisib’s clinical benefit.

Combination of lenalidomide and rituximab showed favorable results for treatment of follicular lymphoma

The phase lllb MAGNIFY trial showed that treatment with a combination of the chemotherapy lenalidomide and the antibody therapy rituximab, followed by maintenance therapy, resulted in favorable activity and tolerability in patients with refractory (not responding to treatment) or relapsing follicular lymphoma.

The MAGNIFY trial is also evaluating the combination of lenalidomide and rituximab followed by maintenance therapy in patients with marginal zone lymphoma and mantle cell lymphoma.

What Patients Need to Know

The primary endpoint of the trial was progression-free survival (PFS), the length of time that the cancer does not grow or spread. The 1-year PFS was 70 percent for all follicular lymphoma patients, 65 percent for double-refractory follicular lymphoma patients, and 49 percent for early-relapse follicular lymphoma patients.

Venetoclax studied for treatment of NHL subtypes

A phase l trial evaluated the targeted treatment venetoclax in patients with relapsed or refractory (not responding to treatment) non-Hodgkin lymphoma (NHL), including those with mantle cell lymphoma, follicular lymphoma, diffuse large B-cell lymphoma, marginal zone lymphoma, and Waldenstrom macroglobulinemia.

Early results suggest a favorable response rate, but further studies of venetoclax (alone and in combination therapy) are ongoing.

What Patients Need to Know

In April 2016, the FDA approved venetoclax for the treatment of patients with chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) who have the “17p deletion” chromosomal abnormality and who have been treated with at least one prior therapy.

CAR-T cell therapy approved for certain large B-cell lymphomas

Chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) T cell therapy is a type of immunotherapy that uses a patient’s own T-cells to directly target lymphomas. The most common target of CAR-T cell therapies is the B-lymphocyte antigen CD19, a protein found on the surface of nearly all B-cell lymphomas.

A CAR-T therapy, axicabtagene ciloleucel, has been approved by the FDA for the treatment of patients with certain types of large B-cell lymphomas that are refractory (not responding to treatment) or that have recurred after at least two other kinds of treatment.

What Patients Need to Know

Certain steps are followed in CAR-T cell therapy, including drawing blood, separating out and genetically modifying the T cells, multiplying those cells in a laboratory, and infusing them back into the patient, where they attack cancer cells.

CAR-T cell therapy continues to be studied as a treatment approach for other types of lymphoma.