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 Satellites, airport visibility readings shed light on troops' exposure to air pollution
09.12.2016 | Veterans Affairs Research Communications

nachricht Oxygen can wake up dormant bacteria for antibiotic attacks
08.12.2016 | Penn State

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: Electron highway inside crystal

Physicists of the University of Würzburg have made an astonishing discovery in a specific type of topological insulators. The effect is due to the structure of the materials used. The researchers have now published their work in the journal Science.

Topological insulators are currently the hot topic in physics according to the newspaper Neue Zürcher Zeitung. Only a few weeks ago, their importance was...

Im Focus: Significantly more productivity in USP lasers

In recent years, lasers with ultrashort pulses (USP) down to the femtosecond range have become established on an industrial scale. They could advance some applications with the much-lauded “cold ablation” – if that meant they would then achieve more throughput. A new generation of process engineering that will address this issue in particular will be discussed at the “4th UKP Workshop – Ultrafast Laser Technology” in April 2017.

Even back in the 1990s, scientists were comparing materials processing with nanosecond, picosecond and femtosesecond pulses. The result was surprising:...

Im Focus: Shape matters when light meets atom

Mapping the interaction of a single atom with a single photon may inform design of quantum devices

Have you ever wondered how you see the world? Vision is about photons of light, which are packets of energy, interacting with the atoms or molecules in what...

Im Focus: Novel silicon etching technique crafts 3-D gradient refractive index micro-optics

A multi-institutional research collaboration has created a novel approach for fabricating three-dimensional micro-optics through the shape-defined formation of porous silicon (PSi), with broad impacts in integrated optoelectronics, imaging, and photovoltaics.

Working with colleagues at Stanford and The Dow Chemical Company, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign fabricated 3-D birefringent...

Im Focus: Quantum Particles Form Droplets

In experiments with magnetic atoms conducted at extremely low temperatures, scientists have demonstrated a unique phase of matter: The atoms form a new type of quantum liquid or quantum droplet state. These so called quantum droplets may preserve their form in absence of external confinement because of quantum effects. The joint team of experimental physicists from Innsbruck and theoretical physicists from Hannover report on their findings in the journal Physical Review X.

“Our Quantum droplets are in the gas phase but they still drop like a rock,” explains experimental physicist Francesca Ferlaino when talking about the...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

ICTM Conference 2017: Production technology for turbomachine manufacturing of the future

16.11.2016 | Event News

Innovation Day Laser Technology – Laser Additive Manufacturing

01.11.2016 | Event News

#IC2S2: When Social Science meets Computer Science - GESIS will host the IC2S2 conference 2017

14.10.2016 | Event News

 
Latest News

Researchers identify potentially druggable mutant p53 proteins that promote cancer growth

09.12.2016 | Life Sciences

Scientists produce a new roadmap for guiding development & conservation in the Amazon

09.12.2016 | Ecology, The Environment and Conservation

Satellites, airport visibility readings shed light on troops' exposure to air pollution

09.12.2016 | Health and Medicine

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>