Although sometimes presenting as an indolent lymphoma, mantle cell lymphoma (MCL) is an aggressive disease, hardly curable with standard chemo-immunotherapy. Current approaches have greatly improved patients' outcomes, nevertheless the disease is still characterized by high relapse rates. Before approval by EMA, Italian patients with relapsed/refractory MCL were granted ibrutinib early access through a Named Patient Program (NPP). An observational, retrospective, multicenter study was conducted. Seventy-seven heavily pretreated patients were enrolled. At the end of therapy there were 14 complete responses and 14 partial responses, leading to an overall response rate of 36.4%. At 40 months overall survival was 37.8% and progression free survival was 30%; disease free survival was 78.6% at 4 years: 11/14 patients are in continuous complete response with a median of 36 months of follow up. Hematological toxicities were manageable, and main extra-hematological toxicities were diarrhea (9.4%) and lung infections (9.0%). Overall, 4 (5.2%) atrial fibrillations and 3 (3.9%) hemorrhagic syndromes occurred. In conclusions, thrombocytopenia, diarrhea and lung infections are the relevant adverse events to be clinically focused on; regarding effectiveness, ibrutinib is confirmed to be a valid option for refractory/relapsed MCL also in a clinical setting mimicking the real world.
Keywords: ibrutinib; mantle cell lymphoma; real life; refractory; relapsed.