Mantle Cell Lymphoma: Clinical Research Trial

Fred Warnick, a patient of Dr. Anthony Nguyen, medical oncologist at Comprehensive Cancer Centers, was first in the world to receive a new drug treatment for a rare type of lymphoma. Warnick began treatment in August 2018 and the results have been promising. His story was featured in a recent article in the Las Vegas Review-Journal.

“The patient’s lymph nodes are nearly shrunken down to normal,” said Dr. Nguyen, Warnick’s medical oncologist. “He’s in near complete remission.”

Warnick was diagnosed in June with advanced Stage 4 Mantle Cell Lymphoma, a cancer of the lymphocytes, a specific type of white blood cell. Lymphocytes are found in the lymph nodes, pea-sized glands in places such as the neck, groin and armpits. Warnick had discovered the cancer after visiting an urgent care center with bloating and pain in the abdomen and legs. He went to Comprehensive Cancer Centers for further examination, where the team found cancer in his chest, abdomen, pelvis and kidneys.

Traditional treatment for this condition can include chemotherapy delivered in a hospital and a bone marrow transplant requiring hospitalization for a month or longer. Warnick is not a candidate for a transplant and qualified for a clinical trial where he takes four pills a day of zanubrutnib to inhibit the growth of cancer cells. Every 28 days, he receives intravenously a drug called rituximab, which helps the immune system destroy cancer cells for six cycles. After the six cycles, Warnick will remain on zanubrutnib

Since treatment began in August, scans show not only that Warnick’s lymph nodes have shrunken to a normal size, but also that tumors in his armpit had disappeared. As far as how the treatment is going with regard to side effects, Warnick experienced some difficulty sleeping, but hadn’t lost his hair or appetite.

“I feel fine. I’m starting to get depressed I feel so good,” said Warnick, a father of three, stepfather to three and grandfather to 10, when speaking to the Review-Journal reporter.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved in November the use of zanubrutnib for adult patients who already have undergone one form of treatment. The current drug trial focuses on pairing zanubrutnib and rituximab as the first line of treatment for patients over age 70, who may be frail and less able to withstand other treatments like a bone marrow transplant

Comprehensive Cancer Centers was the first of the locations to activate the trial, with the trial to be continued at 206 more sites across the world, including 21 in the United States.

Comprehensive Cancer Centers conducts 170 clinical trials annually, and the FDA has approved more than 85 therapies from its participation in previous trials. This increase in clinical trials locally means that fewer Southern Nevadans need to go out-of-town for life-extending treatment. Trial participants also receive costly drugs free of charge.

To provide patients with the most progressive and effective cancer treatments, Comprehensive’s clinical research program partners with some of the world’s most recognizable research and cancer-fighting organizations. Comprehensive physicians are part of The US Oncology Network, one of the nation’s largest networks of community-based oncology physicians dedicated to advancing cancer care in America.

The practice extends its reach by working partners such as UCLA TRIO-US, USC, Memorial Sloan Kettering and other leading pharmaceutical companies to offer groundbreaking research studies to its patients. Some recent trials the practice has participated in include PACIFIC 4, a study for early stage non-small-cell lung carcinoma (NSCLC) patients; NATALEE, a study for patients with hormone receptor-positive, HER2-negative early breast cancer as well as study comparing Zanubrutinib and Rituximab for patients with Mantle Cell Lymphoma.

Comprehensive Cancer Centers Can Help

The physicians at Comprehensive Cancer Centers provide a variety of treatment options for cancer, blood disorders and breast health conditions as well as lung disease and sleep disorders. Clinical research is also a large part of Comprehensive’s efforts in advancing cancer care and offering patients the latest in treatment options. Find a complete list of clinical research studies  currently being conducted now. To schedule an appointment with the team at Comprehensive to see if there’s a treatment or clinical research therapy that’s right for you, please call 702-952-3350.


The content is this post is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Always seek the advice of qualified health providers with questions you may have regarding medical conditions.