Patients with relapsed/refractory diffuse large B-cell lymphoma who are unable to undergo autologous stem cell transplant have a new treatment option in the combination of Monjuvi and Revlimid. The lead researcher on the study that led to the combination’s approval discusses what patients need to know.
The combination of Monjuvi (tafasitamab-cxix) and Revlimid (lenalidomide) is a recently approved treatment for patients with relapsed/refractory diffuse large B-cell lymphoma (DLBCL) who are unable to undergo autologous stem cell transplant, and while there are still questions to be answered about its sequencing, it may work best just after stopping a previous therapy, according to the lead researcher of the study that led to its approval.
In an interview with CURE®, Dr. Gilles Salles, head of the hematology department of the Centre Hospitalier Lyon-Sud in France, discusses the key factors patients should know about the treatment and what physicians should discuss with them before they start taking the combination.
They should probably know that the sooner this form of therapy is installed, the better the result. That is classical in cancer, but when you are at the first failure of your previous line, it works a little bit better than when you use it later.
What they should know is that other agents have been approved, essentially in the third-line setting, and we have been talking about CAR-T cells. And CAR-T cells are genetically engineered immune cells, T cells that fight the disease. This is a great tool for patients. We don't know exactly at this time how we should optimally sequence, if needed, the combination of tafasitamab/lenalidomide and CAR-T cell, whether it's better to use one before, like tafasitamab, or whether it may or not diminish the potential efficacy of CAR-T cell in the future.
So, it's the ideas and research here, so we need to discuss that with patients. Other than that, what they should know is that, at the present time for patients that have got benefit of (therapy for) this disease, there is a continuous treatment. Tafasitamab is delivered as an IV infusion every two weeks, so they have to continue to come to the hospital every two weeks to receive an infusion.
But this infusion is given, it's usually much better tolerated when we go further down the road. We actually stop lenalidomide, the second drug, after one year and we use tafasitamab alone; that has much less side effect and the infusion lasts 90 minutes. And we do hope that continuing this treatment will prevent any recurrence of the disease.