Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

New treatment rivals chemotherapy for lymphoma

03.02.2005


95 percent of patients respond to radioactive antibody treatment

A new form of treatment for lymphoma that takes a fraction of the time of traditional chemotherapy with fewer side effects caused tumors to shrink in 95 percent of patients, a new study by researchers at the University of Michigan Comprehensive Cancer Center found.

Patients with advanced-stage follicular lymphoma – a cancer generally considered incurable – who had not been previously treated with any other form of therapy received a single course of treatment with the Bexxar therapeutic regimen, a radioactive antibody injected into the bloodstream that targets and kills cancer cells. Of the 76 patients enrolled in the study, 95 percent responded to the treatment and 75 percent had a complete response, meaning no evidence of cancer remained. More than three-quarters of patients with a complete remission were disease-free after five years.



Results of the study appear in the Feb. 3 New England Journal of Medicine.

"The results of this treatment, which essentially takes only one week to complete, rival any kind of treatment that’s been used for follicular lymphoma, including chemotherapy regimens that take months to complete. It’s very well-tolerated by patients and we saw complete remission in the majority of patients lasting for years," says lead study author Mark Kaminski, M.D., director of the Leukemia/Lymphoma Program and the Multidisciplinary Lymphoma Clinic at the U-M Comprehensive Cancer Center.

Kaminski and his colleague Richard Wahl (formerly at U-M and now at Johns Hopkins University) developed the Bexxar regimen, which received approval from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration in June 2003 to treat follicular non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma after other treatments have failed. The newly published research involves Bexxar as a first-line treatment for this disease.

Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, the nation’s sixth leading cause of cancer death, is a cancer of the lymph system, which is part of the immune system. Lymphoma spreads easily through the lymph system and the bloodstream and consequently tends to be widespread when it is diagnosed. Traditional treatment often involves intensive chemotherapy, or a combination of chemotherapy and the monoclonal antibody rituximab. These treatments are usually given every three weeks over a span of up to six months and can cause many unpleasant side effects, including nausea, hair loss and infections.

Follicular lymphoma is the second most common type of non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma and is not considered to be curable using these traditional treatments; even after patients initially have a response to treatment, the disease almost always comes back and becomes more difficult to treat.

Bexxar, whose chemical name is tositumomab and iodine I 131 tositumomab, combines an antibody that seeks out cancer cells, and a radioactive form of the element iodine. When injected, it travels like a guided missile through the bloodstream to bind to a protein found on the surface of the cancerous cells. The radiation zaps these malignant cells with minimal exposure to normal tissues.

With the Bexxar therapeutic regimen, a patient receives an injected test dose of radioactive Bexxar to determine how that patient’s body processes the tagged antibody. Nuclear medicine scans are used to assess how quickly Bexxar reaches the tumor and how quickly the radiation disappears from the patient’s body. One to two weeks after that initial dose, the patient then receives a custom-tailored therapeutic dose, and therapy is considered complete. The most common side effect is a temporary lowering of blood counts several weeks after the treatment. There is no hair loss and nausea is rare.

Results from this study are even more promising than results using Bexxar after other therapies have failed. In those studies, 70 percent of patients responded to Bexxar and 20 percent to 30 percent saw a complete remission. Bexxar is marketed in the United States by GlaxoSmithKline.

"Given how much better this treatment worked as first-line therapy in our study, moving this treatment up earlier in the course of a patient’s illness should be strongly considered instead of using it as a last resort or not at all. These results support the notion that there’s a real possibility of putting chemotherapy on the back burner for this disease," says Kaminski, a professor of internal medicine at the U-M Medical School. "New studies can now be designed to begin to test this possibility," he adds.

In addition to Kaminski, U-M study authors are Melissa Tuck, research associate for Hematology/Oncology; Judith Estes, M.S.N., N.P., nurse practitioner in the lymphoma clinic; Charles W. Ross, M.D., associate professor of Pathology; Kenneth Zasadny, Ph.D., Nuclear Medicine; Denise Regan and Paul Kison, nuclear medicine technicians; Susan Fisher, project associate in Radiology. Other authors are Stewart Kroll from Corixa Corp.; Arne Kolstad, M.D., Ph.D., from the Norwegian Radium Hospital, Oslo; and Richard L. Wahl, M.D., from Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine.

Nicole Fawcett | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.umich.edu
http://www.cancer.med.umich.edu/learn/lymphomainfo.htm

More articles from Health and Medicine:

nachricht GLUT5 fluorescent probe fingerprints cancer cells
20.04.2018 | Michigan Technological University

nachricht Scientists re-create brain neurons to study obesity and personalize treatment
20.04.2018 | Cedars-Sinai Medical Center

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: Spider silk key to new bone-fixing composite

University of Connecticut researchers have created a biodegradable composite made of silk fibers that can be used to repair broken load-bearing bones without the complications sometimes presented by other materials.

Repairing major load-bearing bones such as those in the leg can be a long and uncomfortable process.

Im Focus: Writing and deleting magnets with lasers

Study published in the journal ACS Applied Materials & Interfaces is the outcome of an international effort that included teams from Dresden and Berlin in Germany, and the US.

Scientists at the Helmholtz-Zentrum Dresden-Rossendorf (HZDR) together with colleagues from the Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin (HZB) and the University of Virginia...

Im Focus: Gamma-ray flashes from plasma filaments

Novel highly efficient and brilliant gamma-ray source: Based on model calculations, physicists of the Max PIanck Institute for Nuclear Physics in Heidelberg propose a novel method for an efficient high-brilliance gamma-ray source. A giant collimated gamma-ray pulse is generated from the interaction of a dense ultra-relativistic electron beam with a thin solid conductor. Energetic gamma-rays are copiously produced as the electron beam splits into filaments while propagating across the conductor. The resulting gamma-ray energy and flux enable novel experiments in nuclear and fundamental physics.

The typical wavelength of light interacting with an object of the microcosm scales with the size of this object. For atoms, this ranges from visible light to...

Im Focus: Basel researchers succeed in cultivating cartilage from stem cells

Stable joint cartilage can be produced from adult stem cells originating from bone marrow. This is made possible by inducing specific molecular processes occurring during embryonic cartilage formation, as researchers from the University and University Hospital of Basel report in the scientific journal PNAS.

Certain mesenchymal stem/stromal cells from the bone marrow of adults are considered extremely promising for skeletal tissue regeneration. These adult stem...

Im Focus: Like a wedge in a hinge

Researchers lay groundwork to tailor drugs for new targets in cancer therapy

In the fight against cancer, scientists are developing new drugs to hit tumor cells at so far unused weak points. Such a “sore spot” is the protein complex...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

Invitation to the upcoming "Current Topics in Bioinformatics: Big Data in Genomics and Medicine"

13.04.2018 | Event News

Unique scope of UV LED technologies and applications presented in Berlin: ICULTA-2018

12.04.2018 | Event News

IWOLIA: A conference bringing together German Industrie 4.0 and French Industrie du Futur

09.04.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

Magnetic nano-imaging on a table top

20.04.2018 | Physics and Astronomy

Start of work for the world's largest electric truck

20.04.2018 | Interdisciplinary Research

Atoms may hum a tune from grand cosmic symphony

20.04.2018 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>