Clinical Trial Results Find Targeted Drug Ibrutinib May Benefit Some Patients with Diffuse Large B-Cell Lymphoma
Trials were co-led by LRF Scientific Advisory Board (SAB) members Drs. Louis Staudt and Wyndham Wilson of the National Cancer Center's Center for Cancer Research
As suggested by preliminary data from two early-phase clinical trials co-led by Lymphoma Research Foundation (LRF) Scientific Advisory Board (SAB) members Drs. Louis Staudt and Wyndham Wilson of the National Cancer Institute's (NCI) Center for Cancer Research (CCR), the investigational drug ibrutinib may benefit some patients with diffuse large B-cell lymphoma (DLBCL), an aggressive form of non-Hodgkin lymphoma (NHL).
DLBCL originates from B-cells, which influence the immune system by helping cells to recognize infection, and is made of up at least three subtypes as discovered by Dr. Staudt's lab in earlier work. Approximately 40 percent of DLBCL subtypes are Activated B-cell (ABC). Malignant B-cells in the ABC subtype promote the survival of tumor cells. NCI researchers Drs. Staudt and Wilson co-led two early phase clinical trials seeking to investigate the role of B-cell receptors (BCRs) and therapeutic targeting methods in ABC DLBCL.
Researchers ultimately identified the Bruton's tyrosine kinase (BTK) enzyme in BCR pathways as a fundamental component in the survival of ABC lymphoma cells. The clinical trials evaluated the role of Pharmacyclics Inc.'s oral drug ibrutinib in inhibiting the BTK enzyme. Results found that some patients with the ABC DLBCL subtype who were originally unresponsive or stopped responding to standard therapies experienced complete or substantial tumor shrinkage with minimal side effects after ibrutinib treatment. This study supports how understanding molecular mechanisms of lymphoma cells can ultimately lead to new tumor-destroying therapeutics.
Further trial details can be found at http://clinicaltrials.gov/ct2/show/NCT01325701?term=PCI-32765&cond=lymphoma&rank=5