New Non-Hodgkin's Lymphoma Drug Passes Hurdle
Bexxar May Have Potential as Initial Treatment for Follicular Lymphoma
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No Lymphoma Cure Yet
In an editorial that accompanies the study, Joseph M. Connors, MD, of the British Columbia Cancer Center Agency, says the high response and remission rates with this treatment after four years of follow-up is encouraging.
"For a treatment accomplished in just a few weeks with modest toxicity, these results are especially impressive," writes Connors. "But how impressive? Sufficient enough to claim that patients are being cured? No, relapses are still occurring in 4 percent to 5 percent of patients per year, even after five years. Sufficient to justify 131-I-tositumomab as a primary treatment for follicular lymphoma? No. Sufficient to justify additional clinical trials? Yes."
Connors points out that the patients in the study were a highly select group of younger-than-average patients with a low-to-moderate disease burden, and the drug still needs more study before it's adopted as a first line of treatment for follicular lymphoma.