The SAKK 35/14 trial focuses on the treatment of patients with advanced follicular lymphoma. A common sign of this type of cancer, which affects the immune cells, is enlargement of the lymph nodes. Many patients who are found to have follicular lymphoma do not display any symptoms at first, so immediate treatment is generally not needed. Once symptoms appear, patients begin chemotherapy supplemented by treatment with the antibody rituximab. When their chemotherapy is over, they continue to take rituximab as maintenance therapy.
There are indications from clinical trials that supplementing rituximab with ibrutinib in a chemotherapy-free approach results in better outcomes. In this trial, we set out to investigate whether this is the case. In addition to rituximab, participants will take four capsules of ibrutinib or placebo every day for 24 months.