Rituximab should be included in first-line chemotherapy when treating mantle cell lymphoma, according to a new management guideline from the British Society for Haematology.
The best outcome data is for the R-CHOP regimen (rituximab plus cyclophosphamide, doxorubicin, vincristine, and prednisolone) followed by maintenance treatment with rituximab, wrote Pamela McKay, MD, of Beatson West of Scotland Cancer Centre in Glasgow, and her colleagues. The report was published in the. But the combination of rituximab and bendamustine is also effective and a more favorable safety profile, according to the guideline. Single agent rituximab is not recommended.
At relapse, the guideline calls on physicians to take an individualized approach based on age, comorbidities, performance status, and response to prior therapy. Some options to consider include ibrutinib as a single agent or rituximab plus chemotherapy. The authors cautioned that there is little evidence to support maintenance rituximab after relapse treatment.
The guideline also explores the role of autologous stem cell transplantation (ASCT) and allogeneic SCT (alloSCT). The authors recommend that ASCT be considered as consolidation of first-line therapy for patients who are fit for intensive therapy. AlloSCT is a viable option in second remission among fit patients who have an appropriate donor and it may also be effective as a rescue therapy for patients who relapse after ASCT. But alloSCT is appropriate only as a first-line therapy for high-risk patients and is best used as part of a clinical trial, according to the recommendations.
The British Society of Haematology previously issued guidance on mantle cell lymphoma in 2012, but the updated document includes new drug therapeutic options and transplant data. The guideline includes a therapeutic algorithm to assist physicians in choosing first-line therapy, options after first relapse, and management in the case of higher relapse.
The guideline authors reported having no conflicts of interest.
SOURCE: McKay P et al. .