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Study identifies promising treatment for aggressive lymphoma
Date:5/26/2010

CHICAGO -- New research illustrates that some patients with transformed lymphoma showed "remarkable" response to lenalidomide, an oral drug with few side effects.

The international study, involving 24 medical centers in the United States and Europe, will be presented at the American Society of Clinical Oncology (http://www.asco.org/) annual meeting June 4-8, 2010, in Chicago.

Forty-five percent of patients with transformed lymphoma treated with lenalidomide responded positively to this immunomodulatory medication, which kills lymphoma cells by activating the body's natural killer cells and by interrupting cancer cell signaling that leads to cell death. Of those patients, 21 percent showed complete remission, some for more than a year.

Transformed lymphoma is an aggressive form of blood cancer. With current therapies, patients have a median survival rate of 1.7 years. In comparison, patients with indolent or slow-growing lymphoma can live 10 to 20 years with the disease. However, over the course of a decade, about 30 percent of those with indolent lymphoma develop transformed lymphoma.

"The study results show a remarkable response rate for transformed lymphoma patients who have a very poor prognosis," says Craig Reeder, M.D. (http://www.mayoclinic.org/bio/10010343.html), Mayo Clinic hematologist (http://www.mayoclinic.org/hematology-oncology-sct/) and principal investigator for the phase II study at Mayo Clinic's Arizona (http://www.mayoclinic.org/arizona/) campus. Phase II studies typically include no more than 300 patients and are designed to evaluate the effectiveness of a specific therapy.

The study included 217 patients with aggressive lymphoma. Of those, 33 had transformed lymphoma and were treated wit
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Contact: Karl Oestreich
newsbureau@mayo.edu
507-284-5005
Mayo Clinic
Source:Eurekalert

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