AstraZeneca announced on Monday that a phase 3 study of its Calquence tablet showed a 'significant' reduction in the risk of disease progression or death in patients with mantle cell lymphoma (MCL).

Combined with chemotherapy, this oral treatment reduced the risk of disease progression or death by 27% compared to standard chemotherapy in treatment-naïve patients.

Patients' overall survival reached a median of 66.4 months, compared to 49.6 months with chemotherapy alone.

MCL is a rare form of B-cell non-Hodgkin's lymphoma that is most common in men over the age of 50.

Usually diagnosed in its late stages, this blood cancer often spreads to other organs, including bone marrow, spleen and liver.

Many MCL patients initially respond to treatment, but a high rate of recurrence sometimes leads to a dismal prognosis.

These data were presented at the European Hepatology Association (EHA) congress in Madrid.

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