Ibrutinib is used to treat a form of lymphoma called mantle cell lymphoma which has returned despite prior therapy, but its use in patients with previously untreated follicular lymphoma is considered investigational. It works by blocking a protein inside the lymphoma cells called Bruton’s tyrosine kinase (BTK), which helps the lymphoma cells to live and grow. Rituximab is a standard therapy for treating follicular lymphoma. It works by targeting a protein on lymphoma cells called CD20.
In this study, researchers are assessing the safety and effectiveness of giving both ibrutinib and rituximab to patients with follicular lymphoma who have not yet received treatment for this cancer. They hope that this combination will be more effective than rituximab alone. Ibrutinib is a capsule that is taken orally (by mouth), while rituximab is given intravenously (by vein).