Navigation Links
New drug dramatically improves survival in Hodgkin lymphoma patients

MAYWOOD, Il. -- A new cancer drug with remarkably few side effects is dramatically improving survival in Hodgkin lymphoma patients who fail other treatments and are nearly out of options.

Loyola University Medical Center oncologist Scott E. Smith, MD, PhD presented survival data for the drug, brentuximab vedotin (Adcetris), at the 17th Congress of the European Hematology Association. Smith is director of Loyola's Hematological Malignancies Research Program.

The multi-center study included 102 Hodgkin lymphoma patients who had relapsed after stem cell transplants. Tumors disappeared in 32 percent of patients and shrank by at least half in 40 percent of patients. An additional 21 percent of patients experienced some tumor shrinkage. Only 6 percent of patients had no response to the drug.

Sixty five percent of patients were alive at 24 months, and in 25 percent of patients, the cancer had not progressed at all.

These are "encouraging results in patients with historically poor prognosis," researchers said.

Loyola patient Michelle Salerno had failed two stem cell transplants -- one using her own cells and one using cells donated by her brother -- and multiple rounds of chemotherapy before going on brentuximab vedotin. After three or four infusions, she stopped suffering chills, sweats, high fevers and itchy pain from head to toe. And she experienced almost none of the side effects common to chemotherapy.

"I kept my hair, and never felt like vomiting," she said. "You get the drug, you go home, you feel good."

The standard regimen is a 30-minute infusion every three weeks. A patient typically receives 16 doses over 48 weeks.

Loyola has administered about 500 doses to 60 patients. "A lot of our patients are doing great on this regimen," Smith said.

Hodgkin lymphoma is a cancer of the immune system. Most patients can be cured with chemotherapy or radiation, especially when the disease is diagnosed in early stages. However, if initial treatment fails, the patient may require an autologous stem cell transplant. This procedure uses the patient's own stem cells to replace immune system cells that are destroyed by high-dose chemotherapy or radiation.

About 50 percent of patients who undergo autologus stem cell transplants relapse. Among patients who relapse, only 10 percent survive.

The Food and Drug Administration last year approved brentuximab vedotin for patients who have either failed an autologous stem cell transplant, are ineligible for a stem cell transplant or have failed two multi-drug chemotherapy regimens.

Brentuximab vedotin is an antibody attached to a powerful chemotherapy drug. The antibody acts like a homing signal, bringing the chemo drug to lymphoma cells. "Brentuximab represents a very interesting new concept in the fight against cancer," said oncologist Tulio Rodriguez, MD, who treats Salerno and is medical director of Loyola's Bone Marrow Transplantation Program. "It delivers powerful chemotherapy right where it needs to be -- into the cancer cell."

Cancer patients frequently are debilitated not only by their cancer, but also by chemotherapy treatments. Targeted drugs such as brentuximab can spare patients from the harmful effects of traditional chemotherapy, Rodriguez said.

The study found that side effects from brentuximab were generally mild. Only 9 percent of patients suffered severe peripheral neuropathy, 2 percent had extreme fatigue and 1 percent had severe diarrhea.

Salerno said the only significant side effect she experienced was mild neuropathy, which went away when the dose was lowered.

Salerno, 43, has been battling Hodgkin lymphoma for 10 years. Although she is not cured, she said, "I feel great and have a good quality of life."

Salerno, who lives in Lombard, said her treatments inspired her to start a business. She markets the Joey Pouch -- a small, soft pouch designed to comfortably hold the lumens of a central venous catheter so a patient can be more comfortable in daily activities or while sleeping. It is worn around the neck, next to the chest. The Joey Pouch is named after Salerno's brother, Joey, who donated stem cells used in one of her transplants.

Rodriguez said he feels immense satisfaction when he goes over CT scans with Salerno to show her how her disease is heading back into remission. But he cautioned that brentuximab, like all drugs, has potential toxicities. "Patients should talk with their doctors about the pros and cons of taking this drug and discuss whether it is best for them," Rodriguez said.


Contact: Jim Ritter
Loyola University Health System

Related medicine news :

1. Lung nodule matching software dramatically increases radiologists efficiency
2. US Drug Watchdog Dramatically Increases Their Efforts To Get All Recalled DePuy ASR Hip Implant Recipients Identified To The Best Possible Attorneys Before Time Runs Out
3. Automated breast ultrasound dramatically reduces physician interpretation time
4. Saliva test could dramatically increase detection of oral cancer
5. Invasive heart test being dramatically overused, Stanford study shows
6. Experimental drug improves muscle strength among male cancer patients
7. New delivery method improves efficacy of 2 common Parkinsons disease medications
8. Sleep improves functioning in Parkinsons patients, but reasons remain elusive
9. PAP therapy improves depressive symptoms in all patients with sleep apnea
10. STeleR study: Telerehab improves functioning after stroke
11. Tiny implanted coil improves lung function in patients with severe emphysema
Post Your Comments:
(Date:12/1/2015)... ... December 01, 2015 , ... On Tuesday 27 Oct 2015, ... educate the personnel on spinal decompression therapy and offer his professional help. , ... The benefits come from creating negative intradiscal pressure which is conducive to retraction ...
(Date:12/1/2015)... ... 01, 2015 , ... World Patent Marketing , a vertically integrated ... allows for easier packing and organizing of items into one big, portable jar. , ... Cooper, CEO and Creative Director of World Patent Marketing and Desa Industries Inc ...
(Date:12/1/2015)... ME (PRWEB) , ... December 01, 2015 , ... Royal ... reports a new study that found post-menopausal women who took the nutritional supplement creatine, ... than women who trained but did not take creatine. , The report is part ...
(Date:12/1/2015)... ... December 01, 2015 , ... According to an article ... a discrimination claim against the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, claiming that ... (ACA) plans are breaking the clause in the law prohibiting the denial of coverage ...
(Date:12/1/2015)... Los Angeles, CA (PRWEB) , ... December 01, 2015 , ... ... the United States, today announced that its iconic bottle has won top honors in ... drinks category. The Company also announced that it has been selected as a ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:12/1/2015)... and PITTSBURGH , Dec. ... announced that it expects to be the first to ... funded by international donors, TLE400 (Tenofovir Disoproxyl Fumarate 300 ... for $99 per patient, per year. Mylan partnered with ... The significantly reduced price could generate savings of tens ...
(Date:12/1/2015)...  Six months of adjunctive metformin therapy does not improve ... to new research from T1D Exchange and funded ... beneficial effect on measures of obesity, including weight and BMI. ... Journal of the American Medical Association , are from the ... on overweight and obese adolescents with type 1 diabetes. ...
(Date:12/1/2015)... 01, 2015 ... addition of the "2016 Europe ... E. Coli, Enterovirus, Rhinovirus, Rotavirus, Salmonella, ... their offering. --> ... the "2016 Europe Enteric Disease ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: