Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Drug prolongs lives of chronic lymphocytic leukemia patients

08.12.2003


The drug rituximab significantly prolonged the lives of some people with chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL), the most common form of leukemia in adult Americans.

The findings come from a comparative analysis of two completed national phase II and phase III clinical trials that will be presented Dec. 8, 8:00 a.m. PT, at the 45th annual meeting of the American Society of Hematology (ASH) in San Diego, Calif.

The two multicenter clinical trials compare the antibody rituximab plus fludarabine, a chemotherapeutic drug, to fludarabine alone. Rituximab is an antibody-based drug approved for lymphoma. Physicians now use fludarabine alone as the current standard therapy for CLL.



The findings of the two studies show that after an average of 43 months, rituximab plus the drug fludarabine increases progression-free survival by 22 percent and overall survival by 12 percent compared to fludarabine alone.

“The findings are the first of any tested modern therapy to show a significant improvement in overall survival for people with CLL,” says study leader John C. Byrd, a medical oncologist with The Ohio State University Comprehensive Cancer Center – Arthur G. James Cancer Hospital and Richard J. Solove Research Institute. Byrd will present the findings at ASH.

“The results suggest that rituximab is going to be an extremely important drug in the treatment of this disease.”

An estimated 7,300 Americans will be diagnosed with CLL in 2003, and 4,400 people are expected to die of the disease. The disease causes no symptoms initially. Doctors usually diagnose it through routine blood tests; average age at diagnosis is 62. Early stage patients can live 10 years or more, but patients with more advanced disease may live only 18 months to three years.

Rituximab is a monoclonal antibody that targets a protein known as CD20 found on immune cells known as B lymphocytes. Scientists believe rituximab kills malignant CLL cells by causing programmed cell death, or apoptosis.

This randomized phase 2 study included 104 previously untreated CLL patients. The outcomes of these patients were compared to those of 179 similar patients who received fludarabine alone as part of an earlier randomized trial.

The earlier trial, known as Cancer and Leukemia Group B (CALGB) 9011, compared fludarabine alone to the drug chlorambucil, the former standard of care for CLL. The results of that study (published in the Dec. 14, 2000, New England Journal of Medicine) established fludarabine alone as the standard of care in CLL patients.

Of patients receiving fludarabine alone in that study, 81 percent had survived after two years, 20 percent experienced a complete remission and 45 percent showed no progression of their disease.

Of patients receiving rituximab plus fludarabine in this new study (known as CALGB 9712), 93 percent had survived after two years, 38 percent experienced a complete remission and 67 percent showed no disease progression.

“That’s a significant improvement,” says Byrd, the D. Warren Brown Professor in Leukemia Research, and a Leukemia and Lymphoma Society of America Clinical Scholar.

The findings also may cause investigators to re-think the best time to begin therapy for CLL in patients with a high likelihood of developing progressive disease. Older studies showed that giving patients chlorambucil early did not improve survival, so doctors don’t usually begin therapy until symptoms appear.

“This study may cause us to re-evaluate that approach,” Byrd says. “Future clinical trials may test whether giving rituximab alone or in combination when the disease is just diagnosed is beneficial.”

Funds from the National Cancer Institute, Kimmel Cancer Research Foundation, the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society of America and D. Warren Brown Foundation supported this research

The CALGB is a national clinical research group sponsored by the National Cancer Institute and founded in 1955 to improve cancer treatment, prevention and detection. The group consists of nearly 30 university medical centers, over 185 community hospitals and almost 3000 collaborating physicians and focuses on leukemia, lymphoma, melanoma and cancers of the breast, lung, gastrointestinal tract and genito-urinary tract.



Contact: Darrell E. Ward, (614) 293-3737; Ward-15@medctr.osu.edu

Darrell E. Ward | Ohio State University
Further information:
http://researchnews.osu.edu/archive/rituxim.htm

More articles from Health and Medicine:

nachricht PET imaging tracks Zika virus infection, disease progression in mouse model
20.09.2017 | US Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases

nachricht 'Exciting' discovery on path to develop new type of vaccine to treat global viruses
18.09.2017 | University of Southampton

All articles from Health and Medicine >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Tiny lasers from a gallery of whispers

New technique promises tunable laser devices

Whispering gallery mode (WGM) resonators are used to make tiny micro-lasers, sensors, switches, routers and other devices. These tiny structures rely on a...

Im Focus: Ultrafast snapshots of relaxing electrons in solids

Using ultrafast flashes of laser and x-ray radiation, scientists at the Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics (Garching, Germany) took snapshots of the briefest electron motion inside a solid material to date. The electron motion lasted only 750 billionths of the billionth of a second before it fainted, setting a new record of human capability to capture ultrafast processes inside solids!

When x-rays shine onto solid materials or large molecules, an electron is pushed away from its original place near the nucleus of the atom, leaving a hole...

Im Focus: Quantum Sensors Decipher Magnetic Ordering in a New Semiconducting Material

For the first time, physicists have successfully imaged spiral magnetic ordering in a multiferroic material. These materials are considered highly promising candidates for future data storage media. The researchers were able to prove their findings using unique quantum sensors that were developed at Basel University and that can analyze electromagnetic fields on the nanometer scale. The results – obtained by scientists from the University of Basel’s Department of Physics, the Swiss Nanoscience Institute, the University of Montpellier and several laboratories from University Paris-Saclay – were recently published in the journal Nature.

Multiferroics are materials that simultaneously react to electric and magnetic fields. These two properties are rarely found together, and their combined...

Im Focus: Fast, convenient & standardized: New lab innovation for automated tissue engineering & drug

MBM ScienceBridge GmbH successfully negotiated a license agreement between University Medical Center Göttingen (UMG) and the biotech company Tissue Systems Holding GmbH about commercial use of a multi-well tissue plate for automated and reliable tissue engineering & drug testing.

MBM ScienceBridge GmbH successfully negotiated a license agreement between University Medical Center Göttingen (UMG) and the biotech company Tissue Systems...

Im Focus: Silencing bacteria

HZI researchers pave the way for new agents that render hospital pathogens mute

Pathogenic bacteria are becoming resistant to common antibiotics to an ever increasing degree. One of the most difficult germs is Pseudomonas aeruginosa, a...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

“Lasers in Composites Symposium” in Aachen – from Science to Application

19.09.2017 | Event News

I-ESA 2018 – Call for Papers

12.09.2017 | Event News

EMBO at Basel Life, a new conference on current and emerging life science research

06.09.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Molecular Force Sensors

20.09.2017 | Life Sciences

Producing electricity during flight

20.09.2017 | Power and Electrical Engineering

Tiny lasers from a gallery of whispers

20.09.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>