Find Information About:

Drugs & Supplements

Get information and reviews on prescription drugs, over-the-counter medications, vitamins, and supplements. Search by name or medical condition.

Pill Identifier

Pill Identifier

Having trouble identifying your pills?

Enter the shape, color, or imprint of your prescription or OTC drug. Our pill identification tool will display pictures that you can compare to your pill.

Get Started

My Medicine

Save your medicine, check interactions, sign up for FDA alerts, create family profiles and more.

Get Started

WebMD Health Experts and Community

Talk to health experts and other people like you in WebMD's Communities. It's a safe forum where you can create or participate in support groups and discussions about health topics that interest you.

  • Second Opinion

    Second Opinion

    Read expert perspectives on popular health topics.

  • Community


    Connect with people like you, and get expert guidance on living a healthy life.

Got a health question? Get answers provided by leading organizations, doctors, and experts.

Get Answers

Sign up to receive WebMD's award-winning content delivered to your inbox.

Sign Up

Leukemia & Lymphoma

Font Size

New Lymphoma Treatment Promising

8-Year Survival Rate Was 86% With Bexxar in Previously Untreated Patients
WebMD Health News
Reviewed by Louise Chang, MD

June 4, 2007 (Chicago) -- Nearly nine in 10 people with lymphoma given a relatively new type of treatment that combines cancer-killing antibodies and radiation are still alive eight years after being treated, researchers report.

The study also showed that half of people with previously untreated follicular lymphoma have not suffered a relapse since undergoing a one-week treatment with Bexxar.

Follicular lymphoma is a common form of non-Hodgkin's lymphoma and accounts for about 15% of all cases. It’s a cancer of the lymph tissue, an important part of the immune system.

Bexxar combines the antibody (tositumomab) with radioactive iodine and is administered through an infusion. The antibody stimulates the body's immune system to fight the cancer.

“The big advantage is that Bexxar is given in one week, with very little toxicity,” says researcher Mark Kaminski, MD, professor of internal medicine at the University of Michigan Comprehensive Cancer Center in Ann Arbor.

“In contrast, traditional chemotherapy regimens require several months of therapy and is associated with a variety of toxicities,” he tells WebMD. Side effects of conventional chemo include nausea, hair loss, and infections.

86% of Patients Still Alive at 8 Years

Bexxar was approved by the FDA in 2003 for the treatment of follicular non-Hodgkin's lymphoma in patients who have not responded to initial therapy with the drug Rituxan and who have relapsed following chemotherapy. But this is the first study to use the drug in previously untreated patients.

The study included 76 people with advanced follicular lymphoma (stage III and IV) who had not yet been treated for their disease. The patients were given a one-week treatment with Bexxar and were followed for about eight years.

The research was presented here at the American Society of Clinical Oncology’s annual meeting.

Results showed that 95% of the patients responded to the treatment; 75% had a complete disappearance of the signs of their cancer.

At follow-up, the estimated eight-year overall survival rate was 86%. Fifty percent of patients continued to show no signs of cancer. Of the 57 patients who had a complete remission, two-thirds remained in remission.

Kaminski says the toxicity or hazardous side effects of Bexxar were moderate, and none of the patients treated required transfusions or suffered serious therapy-related complications.

Today on WebMD

stem cells
What are they and why do we need them?
Lung cancer xray
See it in pictures, plus read the facts.
sauteed cherry tomatoes
Fight cancer one plate at a time.
Ovarian cancer illustration
Do you know the symptoms?
Vitamin D
New Treatments For Non-Hodgkins Lymphoma
Lifestyle Tips for Depression Slideshow
Pets Improve Your Health