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Experimental drug shows promise in treating certain lymphomas

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. - New clinical data showed some cancer patients with recurrent lymphoma benefited from an experimental drug called AME-133v, said a researcher at the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB).

The data was presented April 15th during the 2008 annual meeting of the American Association for Cancer Research in San Diego.

Phase 1 clinical trial data showed AME-133v had a potent tumor-halting response in patients with a particular kind of cancer called follicular lymphoma, said Andres Forero, M.D., associate scientist at the UAB Comprehensive Cancer Center and lead presenter on the results.

"These first results suggest that AME-133v provides a mechanism of action that may be more potent and ultimately more effective than the treatments we have on hand," Forero said.

The testing was done in 22 patients treated at UAB and at other locations around the nation. Follicular lymphoma patients are being enrolled in a Phase 2 study.

About 22 percent of the lymphomas in the United States are of the follicular type, according to the American Cancer Society. The malignant cells tend to grow slowly in a circular pattern in the lymph nodes. Follicular lymphoma can be treated with chemotherapy, but the disease often returns after therapy is complete.

Research has shown that a new class of anticancer agents like AME-133v, a class called monoclonal antibodies, can lengthen survival times, Forero said.

In the UAB study, AME-133v was administered in combination with a standard chemotherapy agent sometime after the initial treatments had been given, and after the re-emergence of cancer.

The experimental drug triggered signaling pathways within cells that slow or stop lymphoma cancer's growth, and the drug combo was well-tolerated by the body and caused minimal side effects, Forero said.


Contact: Troy Goodman
University of Alabama at Birmingham

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