Navigation Links
Study Adds to Evidence That Rituximab Slows Lymphoma Symptoms
Date:12/21/2010

TUESDAY, Dec. 21 (HealthDay News) -- New research provides more evidence that treating certain lymphoma patients with an expensive drug over the long term helps them go longer without symptoms. But the drug, called rituximab (Rituxan), does not seem to significantly increase life span, raising questions about whether it's worth taking.

People with lymphoma who are considering maintenance treatment "really need a discussion with [their] oncologist," said Dr. Steven T. Rosen, director of the Robert H. Lurie Comprehensive Cancer Center at Northwestern University in Chicago.

The study involved people with follicular lymphoma, one of the milder forms of non-Hodgkin lymphoma, a term that refers to cancers of the immune system. Though it can be fatal, most people live for at least 10 years after diagnosis.

There has been debate over whether people with the disease should take Rituxan as maintenance therapy after their initial chemotherapy. In the study, which was funded in part by F. Hoffmann-La Roche, a pharmaceutical company that sells Rituxan, roughly half of the 1,019 participants took Rituxan, and the others did not. All previously had taken the drug right after receiving chemotherapy.

In the next three years, the study found, people taking the drug took longer, on average, to develop symptoms. Three-quarters of them made it to the three-year mark without progression of their illness, compared with about 58 percent of those who didn't take the drug. But the death rate over three years remained about the same, according to the report, published online Dec. 21 in The Lancet.

The drug "should now be considered as first-line treatment for these patients," wrote Dr. Gilles Salles of Hospices Civils de Lyon & Universite Claude Bernard in Lyon, France, and his research colleagues.

But Rosen said there's still a divide over use of the drug as maintenance therapy. "Physicians are falling into two groups," he said. "One says, 'There was no survival advantage, I'd just wait until you have progression and then re-treat you. That's not unreasonable.'"

Another group "would say that there's potentially better quality of life during the period without disease," Rosen said. "But the psychological benefits from not having any evidence of disease are hard to measure."

In a comment accompanying the report in The Lancet, Dr. Jonathan Friedberg, of the hematology and oncology division at the University of Rochester in Rochester, N.Y., wrote that "an analysis of cost-effectiveness would be very helpful."

"In an era of increased health-care costs, what benefit is necessary to justify the cost of this maintenance strategy, which at my institution would cost Medicare more than $60,000 per patient?" Friedberg asked.

He also described as premature the researchers' statement that maintenance therapy with the drug should be prescribed for all people with follicular lymphoma who are initially treated with rituximab plus chemotherapy.

"However, maintenance is an option," Friedberg said, adding that "the investigators are to be congratulated for this important contribution and are strongly encouraged to continue follow-up of these patients to answer the questions that remain."

More information

The U.S. National Cancer Institute has more on lymphoma.

-- Randy Dotinga

SOURCES: Steven T. Rosen, M.D., director, Robert H. Lurie Comprehensive Cancer Center, Northwestern University, Chicago; The Lancet, news release, Dec. 21, 2010


'/>"/>
Copyright©2010 ScoutNews,LLC.
All rights reserved  

Related medicine news :

1. Despite Treatment, Employees with Depression Generate Higher Absentee Costs, According to Thomson Reuters Study
2. American Council on Exercise (ACE) Study Reveals Kettlebells Provide Powerful Workout in Short Amount of Time
3. TV drama can be more persuasive than news program, study finds
4. Study carried out into biological risks of eating reptiles
5. Neuroimaging study may pave way for effective Alzheimers treatments
6. Study finds racial gaps continue in heart disease awareness
7. Luth Researchs IndicatorEDG(TM) Study Finds Americans Hopes of Achieving Their Dreams Are Fading
8. First blinded study of venous insufficiency prevalence in MS shows promising results
9. Soothing infants with food focus of childhood obesity study
10. People with anxiety disorder less able to regulate response to negative emotions, study shows
11. American Heart Association Rapid Access Journal Report: Study Finds Racial Gaps Continue in Heart Disease Awareness, Low Knowledge of Heart Attack Warning Signs Among Women
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
Related Image:
Study Adds to Evidence That Rituximab Slows Lymphoma Symptoms
(Date:6/25/2016)... ... June 25, 2016 , ... Dr. Calvin Johnson has ... he has implemented orthobiologic procedures as a method for treating his patients. The ... first doctors to perform the treatment. Orthobiologics are substances that orthopaedic surgeons use ...
(Date:6/25/2016)... , ... June 25, 2016 , ... Conventional wisdom preaches ... success. In terms of the latter, setting the bar too high can result in ... than just slow progress toward their goal. , Research from PsychTests.com ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... ... June 24, 2016 , ... Those who have experienced ... feelings, many turn to unhealthy avenues, such as drug or alcohol abuse, as a ... has released tools for healthy coping following a traumatic event. , Trauma sufferers tend ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... ... 24, 2016 , ... Marcy was in a crisis. Her son James, eight, was out of ... verbally and physically. , “When something upset him, he couldn’t control his emotions,” remembers Marcy. ... throw rocks at my other children and say he was going to kill them. ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... ... 2016 , ... Global law firm Greenberg Traurig, P.A. announced that 20 Florida ... their peers for this recognition are considered among the top 2 percent of lawyers ... as members of this year’s Legal Elite Hall of Fame: Miami Shareholders Mark ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:6/24/2016)... , June 24, 2016  Global Blood ... biopharmaceutical company developing novel therapeutics for the treatment ... today announced the closing of its previously announced ... stock, at the public offering price of $18.75 ... offering were offered by GBT. GBT estimates net ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... June 24, 2016 The Academy of Managed ... recommendations that would allow biopharmaceutical companies to more ... that make formulary and coverage decisions, a move that ... new medicines. The recommendations address restrictions in ... on the drug label, a prohibition that hinders decision ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... , June 24, 2016 According ... by Type (Standard Pen Needles, Safety Pen Needles), Needle ... GLP-1, Growth Hormone), Mode of Purchase (Retail, Non-Retail) - ... This report studies the market for the forecast period ... reach USD 2.81 Billion by 2021 from USD 1.65 ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: