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Zevalin safe and effective for non-Hogdkin's lymphoma patients with advanced disease

ORLANDO, May 17 According to a University of Pittsburgh Medical Center (UPMC) study, patients with advanced non-Hodgkin's lymphoma (NHL) previously treated with chemotherapy and adult stem cell transplantation can safely tolerate ZevalinTM (ibritumomab tiuxetan), a radiolabeled monoclonal antibody that targets radiation directly to a tumor. The study, presented at the 41st annual meeting of the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) in Orlando, indicates that NHL patients who have received prior therapies for their disease respond safely to treatment with Zevalin.

A monoclonal antibody linked to the radioisotope, yttrium-90, Zevalin targets the CD20 antigen on the surface of mature B cells and B-cell tumors, and was approved in 2002 for the treatment of relapsed or refractory B-cell NHL. With Zevalin, radiation is added to the antibody to target the cancerous cells to the effects of ionizing irradiation. A major potential benefit to Zevalin is that treatment takes approximately eight days compared to six months of standard therapy.

"Patients with non-Hodgkin's lymphoma who have failed standard chemotherapy and have received stem cell transplantation have few treatment options available," said Samuel Jacobs, M.D., lead investigator and associate director for clinical investigations at the University of Pittsburgh Cancer Institute and UPMC Cancer Centers. "As a result, it is crucial to evaluate novel therapies in the advanced disease setting. Our preliminary results indicate that Zevalin is a safe option for these patients."

In the study, 11 patients who had received at least three prior therapy regimens including high-dose chemotherapy with adult stem cell transplantation were treated with Zevalin. Responses to the treatment were assessed pre- and post-treatment with PET/CT scans. According to results, three patients responded two with partial responses and one with a complete response lasting 11 months. Another patient rema
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