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New lymphoma therapies targets diverse and difficult cancer
Date:4/24/2008

NEW YORK (April 24, 2008) -- The fifth leading cause of cancer in the United States, lymphoma is made up of more than 40 rare and highly diverse diseases that target the body's lymphatic system. Lymphomas include both one of the fastest growing cancers -- Burkitt's lymphoma, which can double in size in as little as a day -- and one of the slowest, chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL).

While all lymphoma types can be cured or managed as a chronic disease, its complexity and variation do not allow for a one-size-fits-all treatment approach. Instead, it necessitates highly specialized and individualized approaches.

With a dozen new therapies in development -- one of the largest portfolios of lymphoma drugs under development anywhere -- the Herbert Irving Comprehensive Cancer Center of NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital and Columbia University Medical Center is meeting this challenge with highly effective new treatments for the disease, giving hope to the more than one million lymphoma patients worldwide.

In 2006, NewYork-Presbyterian/Columbia recruited Dr. Owen A. O'Connor, one of the world's top lymphoma researchers, to lead its Lymphoid Development and Malignancy Program, and direct more than 25 full-time scientists and physician scientists.

"By increasing the number and quality of treatment options for lymphoma patients, we are improving their chances for survival. This is especially critical for patients who haven't responded to standard therapies," says Dr. O'Connor, who is also chief of the Lymphoma Service at NewYork-Presbyterian/Columbia and associate professor of medicine at Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons.

One of the most promising new therapies developed at NewYork-Presbyterian/Columbia is PDX (pralatrexate) for T-cell lymphoma -- among the most fatal forms of the disease. The drug is uniquely designed to camouflage itself as a folic acid, which allows it to be absorbed by the tumor, wher
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Contact: Jennifer Homa
jeh9057@nyp.org
212-305-5587
New York- Presbyterian Hospital/Columbia University Medical Center
Source:Eurekalert

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