Experimental drug trial seeks to improve treatment for lymphoma

August 11, 2017
Experimental drug trial seeks to improve treatment for lymphoma
Experimental drug trial seeks to improve treatment for lymphoma. Credit: University of Southampton

Patients with a common type of fast-growing cancer are being given fresh hope in a new clinical trial.

Scientists at the University of Southampton are, for the first time, to trial a new experimental , in combination with immunochemotherapy, in certain patients with diffuse large B-cell (DLBCL).

DLBCL is the most common type of fast-growing non-Hodgkin lymphoma. For many people, the standard treatment, called R-CHOP, uses a combination of an immunotherapy called rituximab and four chemotherapy drugs to find and destroy . But sometimes DLBCL does not go away, or comes back after a period of remission.

Researchers at the University of Southampton want to find out whether a new protein inhibitor called acalabrutinib improves patient response to standard treatments. Acalabrutinib is being developed by Acerta Pharma, a member of the AstraZeneca group.

The ACCEPT trial, which has launched at seven centres across the country and is being funded by Acerta Pharma, will be managed by the Southampton Clinical Trials Unit, and will for the first time combine acalabrutinib with R-CHOP.

The first phase of the trial will help determine a safe and tolerable dose of the drug. Patients will receive multiple low doses of acalabrutinib, while samples of blood and other fluids, collected at various time points, are analysed for information on how the body processes the drug in combination with R-CHOP.

The subsequent phase will evaluate whether this treatment combination is effective at treating DLBCL and preventing its return.

Researchers on this trial are accepting patients aged 16 years and above, with previously untreated CD20 positive diffuse large B-cell lymphoma, requiring a full course of chemotherapy.

Dr Andrew Davies, lead researcher on the trial and associate professor and consultant in medical oncology at the University of Southampton, said: "For some lymphoma patients standard treatments are not effective, so we urgently need like this to help more people survive their disease.

"Results from previous trials that use acalabrutinib to fight other blood cancers have been very promising. This new and unique drug combination will attack the cancer from two sides. Not only will it mark the cancer cells so the immune system can find them and kill them, but it will also prevent the activity of key proteins that play an important role in the spread and survival of malignant B cells. We believe this new combination will benefit patients in addition to standard treatment."

ACCEPT is the first clinical trial to be run as part of the Precision Medicine for Aggressive Lymphoma Consortium (PMAL). Gene expression data gathered as part of this trial will be used by PMAL to improve diagnosis and for lymphoma. It will contribute to a sophisticated database which could one day match patients to targeted therapies based on genetic profiling.

Professor Peter Johnson, director of the Southampton Cancer Research UK Centre, said: "Our research into the molecular changes that make lymphomas grow has given us important new leads on how we might treat them more effectively.

"This trial is exciting because it uses a new targeted drug to switch off key signals in lymphoma cells, and at the same time we will be able to collect information about whether this is a good approach for more in the future."

Explore further: Breakthrough in reversing treatment resistance in blood cancer patients

Related Stories

Breakthrough in reversing treatment resistance in blood cancer patients

July 14, 2017
Researchers from the University of Southampton have identified why some people may become resistant to monoclonal antibodies, a common type of immunotherapy used in lymphoma treatment.

Using miRNA to cure mature B cell neoplasia

August 9, 2017
Almost half of patients with mature B cell neoplasia are faced with the ineffectiveness of existing treatments. However, they may soon benefit from new therapeutic tools relying on miRNA—a small non-coding RNA molecule ...

Everolimus R-CHOP combination safe for treating diffuse large B-cell lymphoma

June 29, 2016
The targeted therapy everolimus may be safely combined with R-CHOP for new, untreated diffuse large B-cell lymphoma according to the results of a pilot study by Mayo Clinic researchers published in the Lancet Haematology. ...

New cancer drug shows promise in helping patients with blood cancer

December 7, 2016
A drug, which has been developed from the results of cancer immunology research at the University of Southampton, has been showed to reduce the risk of follicular lymphoma progression.

Study shows promise of precision medicine for most common type of lymphoma

July 20, 2015
A clinical trial has shown that patients with a specific molecular subtype of diffuse large B-cell lymphoma (DLBCL) are more likely to respond to the drug ibrutinib (Imbruvica) than patients with another molecular subtype ...

Immune cell therapy shows promising results for lymphoma patients

January 5, 2017
Lymphoma is the most common blood cancer. The disease occurs when immune cells called lymphocytes multiply uncontrollably. Cancerous lymphocytes can travel throughout the body and form lymph node tumors. The body has two ...

Recommended for you

Researchers discover a new target for 'triple-negative' breast cancer

November 20, 2017
So-called "triple-negative" breast cancer is a particularly aggressive and difficult-to-treat form. It accounts for only about 10 percent of breast cancer cases, but is responsible for about 25 percent of breast cancer fatalities.

Study reveals new mechanism used by cancer cells to disarm attacking immune cells

November 20, 2017
A new study by researchers at The Ohio State University Comprehensive Cancer Center - James Cancer Hospital and Solove Research Institute (OSUCCC - James) identifies a substance released by pancreatic cancer cells that protects ...

Clinical trial suggests new cell therapy for relapsed leukemia patients

November 20, 2017
A significant proportion of children and young adults with treatment-resistant B-cell leukemia who participated in a small study achieved remission with the help of a new form of gene therapy, according to researchers at ...

Cell-weighing method could help doctors choose cancer drugs

November 20, 2017
Doctors have many drugs available to treat multiple myeloma, a type of blood cancer. However, there is no way to predict, by genetic markers or other means, how a patient will respond to a particular drug. This can lead to ...

Lung cancer triggers pulmonary hypertension

November 17, 2017
Shortness of breath and respiratory distress often increase the suffering of advanced-stage lung cancer patients. These symptoms can be triggered by pulmonary hypertension, as scientists at the Max Planck Institute for Heart ...

Researchers discover an Achilles heel in a lethal leukemia

November 16, 2017
Researchers have discovered how a linkage between two proteins in acute myeloid leukemia enables cancer cells to resist chemotherapy and showed that disrupting the linkage could render the cells vulnerable to treatment. St. ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.