A clinical trial published last month in the Lancet Haematology studied a possible new treatment called acalabrutinib for people with Waldenström’s macroglobulinaemia.
At present, most people with Waldenström’s macroglobulinaemia who need treatment have chemo-immunotherapy (chemotherapy combined with the antibody therapy rituximab). Ibrutinib, a type of targeted drug called a BTK inhibitor, is sometimes used to treat people with Waldenström’s macroglobulinaemia that has come back (relapsed) or not responded (refractory) to previous treatment, or for first-line treatment of people who can’t have chemo-immunotherapy. It is taken continuously unless the lymphoma stops responding or side effects develop that are bad enough to stop treatment.
Acalabrutinib is a newer BTK inhibitor that targets BTK more precisely than ibrutinib. It has the potential to cause fewer side effects than ibrutinib. This is an important consideration for a treatment that needs to be taken long-term.
The current study included adults with Waldenström’s macroglobulinaemia who had not had treatment before as well as those whose lymphoma had come back or not responded to previous treatment. People who had already had ibrutinib were not able to take part. Everybody in the study had acalabrutinib tablets twice a day.
Overall, 106 people took part in the study. In total, 99 people responded to treatment. Only seven people stopped treatment due to side effects.
These results show that acalabrutinib is active and well tolerated in people with Waldenström’s macroglobulinemia. However, it is important to remember that this was an early phase trial and further studies are needed to find out how acalabrutinib compares to other treatments.
To find out more about clinical trials for lymphoma, or to search for a trial that might be suitable for you, visit Lymphoma TrialsLink.
28 January 2020