Mantle cell lymphoma patient benefits from clinical trial despite COVID-19 pandemic

Charles Salazar lives in New Jersey, but considers Houston his “second” home. For four years, he and his wife, Debbie, have been traveling to Houston regularly so he can receive treatment for mantle cell lymphoma, a rare type of non-Hodgkin lymphoma, at MD Anderson. “Sure, I could have sought care closer to home, but my wife is a nurse who knows her stuff,” he says. “As soon as I was diagnosed, she started researching where I could get the best treatment.” Debbie’s diligence led the couple to Michael Wang, M.D., one of the nation’s foremost experts in mantle cell lymphoma. “We made the three-hour flight to Houston to visit Dr. Wang,” Charles says. “As soon as we met him, that was it – we knew he was our guy. He’s not only tops in his field, but he’s also a passionate advocate for his patients.” A wait-and-watch approach to mantle cell lymphoma treatment Wang determined that Charles had a slow-growing form of mantle cell lymphoma, and placed him on a wait-and-watch protocol. “Many patients like Mr. Salazar who have few to no symptoms can be monitored over time without any treatment,” explains Wang. “If their cancer begins to advance, we shift from surveillance to active treatment.” That’s exactly what happened to Charles. Last year, after four years of holding steady, a PET scan showed his slow-growing mantle cell lymphoma had indeed begun to inch forward. Phase II clinical trial offers new mantle cell treatment option At this same time, Wang was launching the Windows II clinical trial, which would test a combination of three drugs to treat mantle cell...