GUH consultant leads clinical trial to improve outcomes for cancer patients

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Dr Amjad Hayat, consultant haematologist, Galway University Hospital and the Advanced Therapies and Cancer Group, School of Medicine, NUI Galway. Photo: Aengus McMahon

A leading consultant at University Hospital Galway is leading a global trial aiming to improve outcomes for patients with a rare type of lymphoma.

Consultant haematologist at GUH Dr Amjad Hayat and the Advanced Therapies and Cancer Group at NUI Galway are carrying out the clinical trial of a new drug which could improve survival rates for those with Mantle cell Lymphoma.

Dr Amjad Hayat, who has led many previous clinical trials in this area, said that participating in this trial is very important for the future of Mantel Cell Lymphoma treatments and its patients.

“The trial is expected to continue for seven years, which will include a treatment period and a follow up period, giving the researchers as much information as possible about the efficacy and safety of the drug,” said Dr Hayat.

Galway University Hospital is one of 150 sites globally to take part in this clinical trial with an estimated 500 participants to be recruited on a voluntary basis across each site.

“We are now looking to recruit patients who have been newly diagnosed with Mantel Cell Lymphoma (MCL),” added Dr Hayat.

“MCL is a rare and aggressive type of Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma equating to about 7% of all patients diagnosed with non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma each year.

“Sadly, MCL at present has poor prognosis with average survival rate of less than three years from diagnosis.”

Currently, newly diagnosed, physically fit MCL patients in Ireland go through an intensive chemotherapy regime coupled with an autologous transplant.

Two targeted therapy drugs called Bendamustine and Rituximab are offered to patients who are less physically fit.

This trial is using an experimental drug called Zanubrutinib coupled with existing drug Rituximab which may be more efficient at treating MCL.

Patients or family members wishing to enquire about this clinical trial and other clinical trials taking place at the the Advanced Therapies and Cancers Group can visit the website at