Drug Combo Provides Clinical Benefit With Fewer Side Effects in B-Cell Lymphoma

Combining PI3 kinase inhibitors with BTK inhibitors can mitigate side effects traditionally seen with PI3 kinase inhibitors, according to recent research.

Traditionally, PI3 kinase inhibitors have come with severe side effects – such as liver issues. Now, offering the PI3 kinase inhibitor zandelisib with the BTK inhibitor Brukinsa (zanubrutinib) can mitigate these side effects for patients with relapsed or refractory B-cell malignancies, according to Dr. John M. Pagel, chief of hematologic malignancies at the Swedish Cancer Institute in Seattle.

Pagel recently conducted research on the drug combination in the following B-cell malignancies: follicular lymphoma, chronic lymphocytic leukemia, marginal zone lymphoma, diffuse large B-cell lymphoma and high-grade B-cell lymphoma.

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I think one of the most important thing that a patient needs to know is that here you have the chance to actually get a therapy that most patients don't receive, because previously, it's been associated with significant side effects. So the approach here of delivering the PI3 kinase inhibitor on what we describe as an “intermittent schedule,” that's daily for a week, and then you take three weeks off for a month for 28 days as a cycle. That approach will allow patients to receive this therapy, but not have any of those, or have very few of those adverse events that have been problematic in the past. Again, those could even be things like inflammation in the liver, which we actually are hoping that and expect that we won't see with this approach. We do believe that this will be a major important opportunity for patients to get therapy that will benefit them in the future.

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