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Radioimmunotherapy could extend lives of advanced lymphoma patients
Date:6/11/2013

Vancouver, British Columbia A new patient protocol for aggressive and recurrent lymphoma that combines intensive chemotherapy and radioimmunotherapy (RIT) may become the most powerful cancer-killing therapy available, with the hope that patients' lymphoma can be eradicated as they prepare for bone marrow transplant, say researchers at the 2013 Annual Meeting of the Society of Nuclear Medicine and Molecular Imaging. In a study presented at the meeting, survival rates without recurrence improved with the addition of RIT, with some having a 100 percent chance of survival over two years.

"This is a unique randomized study aimed at evaluating a novel treatment approach in patients who have relapsed and aggressive lymphoma with a grave prognosis," said S. Tzila Zwas, MD, professor of nuclear medicine at Sackler School of Medicine, Tel-Aviv University, and Sheba Medical Center in Ramat Gan, Israel. "Currently the best choice for these patients is bone marrow transplantation preceded by high dose chemotherapy with a preparation called BEAM to enhance their response to this engraftment treatment. Here we are studying the effectiveness of a new treatment adding targeted RIT to this standard in order to improve patients' survival."

BEAM is a high-dose chemotherapynamed after its drug constituents carmustine (BiCNU), etoposide, cytarabine (arabinoside) and melphalandeveloped to treat invasive bone marrow cancer. This research compares standard BEAM with BEAM and the addition of RIT with Y-90 ibritumomab tiuxetan (Zevalin), a radionuclide that emits a cancer-killing dose of radiation. This allows doctors to monitor how patients respond to therapy. The new treatment combination is known as Z-BEAM.

In this two-part multicenter prospective study, a total of 43 patients with remaining or relapsed lymphoma were randomized and received one of the two possible treatments prior to bone marrow transplant. Patients who underwent BEAM chemotherapy alone had
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Contact: Susan Martonik
smartonik@snmmi.org
703-652-6773
Society of Nuclear Medicine
Source:Eurekalert

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