Diffuse Large B-Cell lymphoma (DLBCL) is the most commonly diagnosed form of non-Hodgkin lymphoma (NHL) in adults. Most patients receive an initial treatment with chemo-immunotherapy, which includes rituximab, cyclophosphamide, vincristine, doxorubicin and prednisone (R-CHOP). Cure rates are high but those who relapse, or do not respond to initial therapy, have a poor prognosis. Polatuzumab vedotin, an anti-CD79b monoclonal antibody conjugated to the cytotoxic payload monomethyl aurostatin-E (MMAE), in combination with bendamustine and rituximab (polatuzumab-BR) is a new, effective therapeutic option to add to the treatment of relapsed/refractory (R/R) DLBCL Areas covered: This review covers the clinical development of polatuzumab for the treatment of lymphoma, its current and future use in patients with DLBCL and identifies its place in the treatment of R/R DLBCL. A search of PubMed and oncology/hematology congresses using “polatuzumab” as the search term was undertaken to identify the most pertinent clinical reports. Expert opinion: Polatuzumab-BR is an effective and safe option for transplant-ineligible patients with R/R DLBCL either before or after CAR-T (chimeric antigen receptor T-cell therapy). Ongoing combination trials with polatuzumab will expand its applications in the treatment of this disease.
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