A trial looking at lenalidomide for mantle cell lymphoma (EMERGE)

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Cancer type:

Blood cancers
Low grade lymphoma
Non-Hodgkin lymphoma




Phase 2

This trial looked at lenalidomide for people who had mantle cell non Hodgkin lymphoma. It was for people who had been treated with bortezomib (Velcade).

Doctors often treat mantle cell lymphoma with chemotherapy. If mantle cell lymphoma comes back, doctors are not sure what to treat it with and have few treatments to choose from.

Bortezomib is a type of biological therapy. It is a cancer growth blocker. It stops signals that cancer cells use to divide and grow. Doctors only give bortezomib to people with mantle cell lymphoma as a part of clinical trials.

Lenalidomide is another type of biological therapy. It works mainly by helping the body’s immune system target cancer cells.

The aims of this trial were to find out

  • If lenalidomide could help people with mantle cell lymphoma after having bortezomib
  • How safe it was to give lenalidomide to people with mantle cell lymphoma after having bortezomib

Summary of results

The trial team found that lenalidomide could help people with mantle cell lymphoma after treatment with bortezomib.

This was a phase 2 trial. It recruited 134 people. Everyone had lenalidomide.

The researchers were able to assess how well the treatment had worked in 111 people who took part.

They found that

  • In 4 people (4%) there was no sign of lymphoma (a complete response Open a glossary item)
  • In 7 people (6%) there was an ‘unconfirmed’ complete response
  • In 26 people (24%) the lymphoma had shrunk
  • In 39 people (35%) the lymphoma had stayed the same
  • In 35 people (31%) the lymphoma had got worse

Unconfirmed response means there were no signs of lymphoma on scans and they had no symptoms. But they may have had some lymph nodes that, even though they had shrunk, were still larger than normal. Or they may have had an increase in the size or number of bone marrow cells.

The average time that it took for the lymphoma to respond was just over 2 months. The average time before the lymphoma started growing again was just over 16½ months.

The most common side effects were

The trial team concluded that lenalidomide worked well for people with mantle cell lymphoma after having bortezomib.  

We have based this summary on information from the team who ran the trial. The information they sent us has been reviewed by independent specialists (peer reviewed Open a glossary item) and published in a medical journal. The figures we quote above were provided by the trial team. We have not analysed the data ourselves.

Recruitment start:

Recruitment end:

How to join a clinical trial

Please note: In order to join a trial you will need to discuss it with your doctor, unless otherwise specified.

Please note - unless we state otherwise in the summary, you need to talk to your doctor about joining a trial.

Chief Investigator

Dr Anton Kruger

Supported by

Celgene Corporation

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Freephone 0808 800 4040

Last review date

CRUK internal database number:

Oracle 6149

Please note - unless we state otherwise in the summary, you need to talk to your doctor about joining a trial.

Around 1 in 5 people take part in clinical trials

3 phases of trials

Around 1 in 5 people diagnosed with cancer in the UK take part in a clinical trial.

Last reviewed:

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