15-year follow-up of the Second Nordic Mantle Cell Lymphoma trial (MCL2) ; prolonged remissions without survival plateau
In recent decades, the prognosis of Mantle Cell Lymphoma (MCL) has been significantly improved by intensified first-line regimens containing cytarabine, rituximab and consolidation with high-dose-therapy and autologous stem cell transplantation. One such strategy is the Nordic MCL2 regimen, developed by the Nordic Lymphoma Group. We here present the 15-year updated results of the Nordic MCL2 study after a median follow-up of 114years: For all patients on an intent-to-treat basis, the median overall and progression-free survival was 127 and 85years, respectively. The MCL International Prognostic Index (MIPI), biological MIPI, including Ki67 expression (MIPI-B) and the MIPI-B including mIR-18b expression (MIPI-B-miR), in particular, significantly divided patients into distinct risk groups. Despite very long response durations of the low and intermediate risk groups, we observed a continuous pattern of relapse and the survival curves never reached a plateau. In conclusion, despite half of the patients being still alive and 40% in first remission after more than 12years, we still see an excess disease-related mortality, even among patients experiencing long remissions. Even though we consider the Nordic regimen as a very good choice of regimen, we recommend inclusion in prospective studies to explore the benefit of novel agents in the frontline treatment of MCL.