Cladribine plus rituximab is an effective therapy for newly diagnosed mantle cell lymphoma

Stephen E. Spurgeon, Talia Pindyck, Craig Okada, Yiyi Chen, Zunqiu Chen, Elana Mater, Kamal Abbi, Elliot M. Epner

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

39 Scopus citations


Mantle cell lymphoma (MCL) is a non-Hodgkin lymphoma that is incurable with standard chemotherapy. There is no consensus on the best initial therapy, especially for elderly patients, who are not candidates for aggressive treatment approaches. Current National Comprehensive Cancer Network (NCCN) treatment guidelines include rituximab (R) plus cladribine for the initial treatment of MCL. However, few data are available to substantiate this recommendation. Therefore, to further define the role of R-cladribine for the initial treatment of MCL, we performed a retrospective chart review of 31 patients with MCL (median age, 67) treated with R-cladribine. The majority of responding patients also received R maintenance. The overall response rate was 87%, with 61% of patients achieving a complete remission (CR/CRu). The estimated median follow-up was 32.5 months, median PFS was 37.5 months, and median OS was 85.2 months. One of 19 (5.3%) subjects in CR/CRu relapsed (median follow-up of 23 months). CR/CRu was associated with improved survival (p < 0.0001), while a high mantle cell international prognostic index (MIPI) was associated with worse survival (p = 0.05). There was one toxic death (neutropenic pseudomonal sepsis) related to treatment. R-cladribine is an effective therapy for previously untreated MCL, and these results validate the use of R-cladribine for the initial treatment of MCL.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1488-1494
Number of pages7
JournalLeukemia and Lymphoma
Issue number8
StatePublished - Aug 2011


  • Mantle cell lymphoma
  • cladribine
  • response
  • rituximab

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Hematology
  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research


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