Scientists from New York-Presbyterian Hospital and Weill Cornell Medicine are calling for deeper clinical trials for newer, nonchemotherapy drugs that they say will benefit patients with mantle cell lymphoma (MCL), a blood cancer.
According to a recent editorial in the Blood journal by lead author Dr. Peter Martin, an oncologist at New York-Presbyterian/Weill Cornell Medical Center and associate professor of medicine and Lymphoma Program chief at Weill Cornell Medicine, nonchemotherapy agents have a better reputation for patient tolerance and are less toxic than older DNA-damaging medications.
Medicines like nonchemotherapy drugs target certain molecules in cancer cells. Nonchemotherapy drugs also affect the immune system to help fight malignancy, according to Martin.
“Newer, non-chemotherapy drugs give doctors more options for treating patients who might not want or tolerate intensive therapy as well as those who cannot travel to centers that offer aggressive treatment,” Martin said. “Moreover, with the development of better therapies, there’s an opportunity to offer regimens that can be effective in patients who might not be expected to respond as well to standard regimens.”
Martin also said that scientists are seeking treatments that help patients live their regular life and that are tolerated well by patients.