New drug reduces cancer in 80% of patients

Artists Illustration Cancer Cells
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According to a recent study from the University of Michigan, the oral drug zanubrutinib helped most patients with a slow-growing type of cancer known as marginal zone lymphoma.

After using zanubrutinib, 80% of patients with a specific type of lymphoma saw their tumors shrink in a clinical trial

Lymphoma cancer is one of the most common cancers in the United States, accounting for approximately 4% of all cancer cases. Lymphoma cancer can occur at any age. It is indeed one of the most common cancers in children, adolescents and young adults. Nevertheless, the risk of contracting lymphoma cancer increases with age and more than half of patients are 65 or older at the time of diagnosis.

Lymphoma is a type of cancer that involves the lymphatic system, which is a component of the body’s germ-fighting mechanism. There are many different types of lymphoma, but the two most common are Hodgkin’s lymphoma and non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma.

The first research carried out by the University of Michigan Health Rogel Cancer Center.

Cancers shrank in 80% of the 20 patients with marginal zone lymphoma who participated in the clinical study, with a fifth of them in complete remission.

The drug had a significantly lower response rate in the 33 people with follicular lymphoma, a similar type of cancer. However, 18% of people who had imaging had no signs of cancer.

The most common side effects were diarrhea, bruising and rashes, as well as colds, fevers and lower levels of white blood cells, which are important for fighting infections and are part of the immune system.

Lymphoma tumor cells

Human lymphoma tumor cells stained and magnified. Credit: National Cancer Institute/National Institutes of Health

Based on the results of this research as well as a secondary study named MAGNOLIA, the Food and Drug Administration has approved zanubrutinib on a conditional basis for adults with marginal zone lymphoma that has come back or has receded. proven resistant to other treatments.

“Treatment options with better tolerability and disease control were needed for marginal zone lymphoma and follicular lymphoma,” said Tycel Phillips, MD, hematologist at Rogel Cancer Center, associate clinical professor at the University of Michigan Medical School and leader. author of the study. “Although the small size of this study limits general conclusions, the safety and efficacy results highlight the potential of zanubrutinib as an adjunct to available therapies for these cancers.”

Lymphoma is a type of cancer that begins in the lymphatic system, the tissues and organs that produce and store white blood cells. Marginal zone and follicular lymphomas develop when white blood cells called B cells are damaged and begin to grow out of control.

Until now, doctors have not been able to cure patients with their marginal zone or follicular lymphomas with chemotherapy, so researchers have been eager to find other more tolerable and effective treatments for them. diseases.

Zanubrutinib is a new type of medicine called a Bruton Tyrosine Kinase inhibitor, which blocks an enzyme known as BTK that plays a crucial role in a signaling pathway that lymphomas often depend on to survive and grow. The drug is only the third BTK inhibitor to be approved for cancers that start in B cells.

Reference: “Zanubrutinib monotherapy in relapsed/refractory indolent non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma” by Tycel Phillips, Henry Chan, Constantine S. Tam, Alessandra Tedeschi, Patrick Johnston, Sung Yong Oh, Stephen Opat, Hyeon-Seok Eom, Heather Allewelt, Jennifer C Stern, Ziwen Tan, William Novotny, Jane Huang and Judith Trotman, June 9, 2022, Blood advances.
DOI: 10.1182/bloodadvances.2021006083

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