Lugano, Switzerland June 7, 2008 The Cancer and Leukemia Group B (CALGB) today announced data from a phase II clinical trial showing that 70 percent of patients with previously untreated follicular lymphoma responded to treatment with galiximab, an investigational anti-CD80 monoclonal antibody, when given in combination with rituximab. Of the 61 patients in the study, 44 percent achieved a complete response and 26 percent had a partial response. The data were presented at the 10th International Conference on Malignant Lymphoma (ICML).
The results of this open label study suggest that adding galiximab to rituximab may be a promising regimen for patients with follicular lymphoma (FL), a common type of non-Hodgkin lymphoma (NHL), and that further study is warranted. The objective of the CALGB-coordinated study is to determine the overall response rate (ORR) and time-to-progression of the disease after treatment with a combined regimen of galiximab and rituximab. At this point, however, it is too early to assess the time-to-progression endpoint.
"Most non-Hodgkin lymphoma patients receive rituximab, either as a single agent or in combination with chemotherapy," said Myron Czuczman, M.D., Roswell Park Cancer Institute, principal investigator of this study. "Now, 'biologic' agents are being studied in combination to assess the efficacy of dual antibody therapies as potential alternatives to chemotherapy-based regimens."
Patients enrolled in the study had been diagnosed with CD20-positive FL but had not received treatment for the disease. Study patients were given galiximab plus rituximab together once a week for four weeks and then every two months for the next eight months. This "extended induction" schedule was chosen based on results from an earlier Swiss (SAKK) trial using the same schedule with single-agent rituximab. Thirteen percent of patients reported a grade 3 adverse event; no grade 4 toxicities were associated with this combi
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