Waldenstrom’s Macroglobulinaemia (WM) is a rare type of slow developing cancer which affects a type of cell of the immune system called B-cells. It is caused when abnormal B-cells build up in the bone marrow and other parts of the immune system which can block other normal blood cells from being produced. The abnormal B-cells also release large amounts of a protein called IgM which can build up in the blood making it thicker. People can live with WM for many years and will only usually receive treatment when the disease of symptoms begin to worsen. Treatments which are currently available include chemotherapy, stem cell transplants and plasma replacement.
Zanubrutinib is an oral drug taken twice a day which is currently in clinical trials for the treatment of patients with WM. Zanubrutinib works by blocking a protein called Bruton’s Tyrosine Kinase (BTK) in the abnormal B-cells which prevents the growth of these cells. As this drug specifically targets the abnormal B-cells, unlike chemotherapy drugs, this type of drug may provide fewer side effects than existing treatment for WM.
Brigatinib is a new treatment option being developed specifically for ALK-positive NSCLC. It acts by blocking the activity of some specific proteins encoded by the ALK gene, thereby reducing the growth of cancer cells. Brigatinib is taken orally once daily as a tablet and potentially has a broader range of resistance when compared other treatment options in its class. Brigatinib would be offered to patients with locally advanced or metastatic ALK-positive NSCLC, who have not received prior treatment. If licensed, brigatinib will offer an additional treatment option for this patient group.