Purpose: Evaluate efficacy and toxicity of bortezomib in patients with relapsed or refractory B-cell non-Hodgkin's lymphoma.
Patients and methods: Patients were stratified, based on preclinical data, into arm A (mantle-cell lymphoma) or arm B (other B-cell lymphomas) without limitation in number of prior therapies. Bortezomib was administered as an intravenous push (1.5 mg/m2) on days 1, 4, 8, and 11 every 21 days for a maximum of six cycles.
Results: Sixty patients with a median number of prior therapies of 3.5 (range, one to 12 therapies) were enrolled; 33 patients were in arm A and 27 were in arm B, including 12 diffuse large B-cell lymphomas, five follicular lymphomas (FL), three transformed FLs, four small lymphocytic lymphomas (SLL), two Waldenstrom's macroglobulinemias (WM), and one marginal zone lymphoma. In arm A, 12 of 29 assessable patients responded (six complete responses [CR] and six partial responses [PR]) for an overall response rate (ORR) of 41% (95% CI, 24% to 61%), and a median time to progression not reached yet, with a median follow-up of 9.3 months (range, 1.7 to 24 months). In arm B, four of 21 assessable patients responded (one SLL patient had a CR, one FL patient had a CR unconfirmed, one diffuse large B-cell lymphoma patient had a PR, and one WM patient had a PR) for an ORR of 19% (95% CI, 5% to 42%). Grade 3 toxicity included thrombocytopenia (47%), gastrointestinal (20%), fatigue (13%), neutropenia (10%), and peripheral neuropathy (5%). Grade 4 toxicity occurred in nine patients (15%), and three deaths from progression of disease occurred within 30 days of withdrawal from study.
Conclusion: Bortezomib showed promising activity in relapsed mantle-cell lymphoma and encouraging results in other B-cell lymphomas. Future studies will explore bortezomib in combination with other cytotoxic or biologic agents.