A study testing a new drug combination containing polatuzumab vedotin in people with relapsed or refractory lymphoma has announced promising early results.
The study compared the following treatment regimens (combinations of drugs) in patients with follicular lymphoma or diffuse large B-cell lymphoma (DLBCL) that has come back (relapsed) or has not responded (refractory) to other treatment:
- polatuzumab vedotin, bendamustine (a chemotherapy drug) and rituximab
- obinutuzumab, bendamustine and rituximab
- bendamustine and rituximab.
Early results of the study were presented at the European Hematology Association’s conference last year.
The study showed that in people with relapsed or refractory follicular lymphoma, outcomes were similar in all treatment groups. However, in people with relapsed or refractory DLBCL, adding polatuzumab vedotin to bendamustine and rituximab significantly improved response to treatment and survival rates even in people who had not responded to previous courses of treatment.
Polatuzumab vedotin is an antibody-drug conjugate: an antibody joined to a strong anti-cancer drug, which allows the drug to be delivered directly to the cancer cells. Antibody-drug conjugates have not been used to treat DLBCL before and could represent a new approach to relapsed or refractory disease.
The trial has been expanded to include more people with relapsed or refractory DLBCL and is open to new participants in the UK.
8 April 2019