Clinical trial evaluates dual drug therapy for untreated follicular lymphoma

Follicular lymphoma

Follicular lymphoma
Photo courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

Patients with untreated follicular lymphoma may be eligible to participate in a new clinical trial at the NIH Clinical Center.

Follicular lymphoma (FL) is a cancer of white blood cells (B cells) that help your body fight infections. Although FL is a slow-growing type of lymphoma, cancerous B cells can travel to other parts of the body and form tumors in organs, bone marrow and lymph nodes. Mark Roschewski, M.D., of the Lymphoid Malignancies Branch, is leading a study to see if copanlisib combined with rituximab can slow the growth of FL in patients who have not received prior treatment. Copanlisib interrupts several signaling pathways that FL cells rely on to grow. This may slow the growth of FL cells and can trigger their death. Rituximab also triggers cancer-cell death, but it works differently than copanlisib. Rituximab attaches to cancerous B cells and signals the body’s immune system to target and destroy the marked cells. The main purpose of this study is to see if copanlisib combined with rituximab can slow the growth of FL. Another purpose is to identify biomarkers in blood and tissue samples that may help to predict which patients will respond best to treatment with copanlisib and rituximab and why patients respond differently to this therapy.   

Clinicaltrials.gov identifier: NCT03789240
NCI Protocol ID: NCI-19-C-0030
Official Title: A Phase 2 Study of Response-Adapted Therapy With Copanlisib and Rituximab in Untreated Follicular Lymphoma

The Center for Cancer Research is NCI’s internal cancer center, a publicly funded organization working to improve the lives of cancer patients by solving important, challenging and neglected problems in cancer research and patient care. Highly trained physician-scientists develop and carry out clinical trials to create the medicines of tomorrow treating patients at the world’s largest dedicated research hospital on the campus of the National Institutes of Health in Bethesda, Maryland.   

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Summary Posted: Thu, 09/05/2019