Last year in the UK over 60,000 cancer patients enrolled on clinical trials aimed at improving cancer treatments and making them available to all.
A trial looking at lenalidomide for mantle cell lymphoma (EMERGE)
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
- 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
- A drop in blood cells
- Lung infection
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 (
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.
Dr Anton Kruger
If you have questions about the trial please contact our cancer information nurses
Freephone 0808 800 4040