Potential New Combination Treatment for Lymphoma

All patients with diffuse large B-cell lymphoma were disease free at 12 months.

Researchers discovered that everolimus could potentially be safe in combination with R-CHOP to treat diffuse large B-cell lymphoma.

R-CHOP is a combination of rituximab, cyclophosphamide, doxorubicin, vincristine, and prednisone. It is the standard treatment for lymphoma, according to a study published by Lancet Hematology; however, the treatment is only about 60% effective.

"There is an unmet need to develop new therapies based on R-CHOP to try to increase the cure rate for diffuse large B-cell lymphoma," said lead author Patrick Johnston, MD, PhD. "This pilot study suggests that adding mTOR inhibitors to standard therapy could improve outcomes, though it needs to be validated in a larger clinical trial."

The study included 24 patients with untreated diffuse large B-cell lymphoma (DLBCL). Researchers found that the combination of everolimus and R-CHOP was well-tolerated by patients in the study, and 96% achieved an overall response.

All patients who responded to the treatment also had a complete metabolic response. No patients relapsed, and all patients were disease-free at 12 months.

The most common side effect was grade 4 neutropenia and grade 3 febrile neutropenia. These findings suggest that drugs which target the P13K-mTOR pathway could be beneficial to standard therapy, the researchers noted.

"This study is the first to integrate a P13K-mTOR agent with standard RCHOP," Dr Johnston concluded. "The encouraging outcome results and toxicity profile of this new regimen, along with the worldwide availability of everolimus, make it potentially applicable to the large population of DLBCL patients."