Improving the Treatment Gap in Diffuse Large B-Cell Lymphoma

Gilles Salles, MD, discusses the need for new therapies to treat diffuse large B-cell lymphoma.

Gilles Salles, MD, the lymphoma service chief at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, discusses the need for new therapies to treat diffuse large B-cell lymphoma (DLBCL).

According to Salles, once patients fail primary therapy, limited options remain. For approximately 50% of the patient population, those with limited comorbidities or those under a certain age, the standard of care is salvage chemotherapy followed by stem cell transplant.

However, for the approximately half of patients who are not eligible for this route, the treatment is usually immuno-chemotherapy, according to Salles. For most regimens, the response rate is limited. For patients who do respond, the duration of response (DOR) is typically only between 4 to 6 months. The median survival after the second-line therapy is about a year.

News agents have made progress in this space. For example, chimeric antigen receptor T cells show promise, but eligibility and access remain a major hurdle for many patients. New agents are also in the pipeline, though according to Salles, many have a short DOR.