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Pixantrone in Combination with Chemotherapy Regimens Produces Overall Response Rates of 58-74% with Complete Remission Rates of 37-57% in Relapsed/Refractory Aggressive or Indolent NHL

Overview of 11 peer review publications presented in 'Future Oncology'

SEATTLE, June 8 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Cell Therapeutics, Inc. (CTI) (Nasdaq and MTA: CTIC) reports a summary of peer reviewed publications spanning preclinical, Phase I and Phase II clinical studies with pixantrone was reviewed in the May 2009 edition of Future Oncology (Volume 5, Issue 4) which is now available on line. The article, "Pixantrone: a promising drug in the treatment of non-Hodgkin lymphomas," was written by Drs. Barry W. Hancock and Loaie M. El-Helw of the Weston Park Hospital, Sheffield UK.

The review focuses on the impressive preclinical anti-tumor activity demonstrated in hematologic cancers over standard anthracyclines and the rational design modifications to the chemical compound believed to be responsible for enhanced DNA damage and binding to topoisomerase II enzyme, a key target for anthracycline mediated tumor death. These modifications are also hypothesized by the authors to underlie the drugs' low cardiotoxicity profile in preclinical animal studies when compared to standard anthracycline drugs.

Five phase I/II studies in which pixantrone was added to standard chemotherapy regimens for treating relapsed aggressive and indolent NHL were also reviewed in the article. Pixantrone, when added to standard multi-agent chemotherapy regimens produced encouragingly high rates of overall response (58-74%) including high rates of complete responses (37-57%). As previously reported, neutropenia was the dose limiting toxicity when used as a single agent.

"In both preclinical and early clinical studies pixantrone exhibited lower cardiac toxicity and better anti-tumor activity than that observed with alternative anthracyclines, as it is devoid of the putative cardiac toxicity generating chemical structure," said Barry W. Hancock, M.D., Professor of Medical Oncology, Weston Park Hospital, Shefield.

About Pixantrone

Pixantrone (BBR 2778), is a novel major groove binder with an aza-anthracenedione molecular structure that differentiates it from the anthracyclines and other related chemotherapy agents. Anthracyclines are the cornerstone therapeutic for the treatment of lymphoma, leukemia, and breast cancer. Although they are sufficiently effective to be used as first-line (initial) treatment, they cause cumulative heart damage that may result in congestive heart failure many years later. As a result, there is a lifetime limit of anthracycline doses and most patients who previously have been treated with an anthracycline are not able to receive further anthracycline treatment if their disease returns. It also can be administered through a peripheral vein rather than a central implanted catheter as required for other drugs in this class.

About Cell Therapeutics, Inc.

Headquartered in Seattle, CTI is a biopharmaceutical company committed to developing an integrated portfolio of oncology products aimed at making cancer more treatable. For additional information, please visit

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This press release includes forward-looking statements that involve a number of risks and uncertainties, the outcome of which could materially and/or adversely affect actual future results. Specifically, the risks and uncertainties that could affect the development of pixantrone include risks associated with preclinical and clinical developments in the biopharmaceutical industry in general and with pixantrone in particular including, without limitation, the potential failure of pixantrone to prove safe and effective for treatment of relapsed aggressive NHL as determined by the FDA, the failure of pixantrone to have a low cardiotoxicity profile or to produce low cardiac toxicity, the failure of pixantrone to produce high rates of overall response including high rates of complete responses , the company's ability to continue to raise capital as needed to fund its operations, competitive factors, technological developments, costs of developing, producing and selling pixantrone, and the risk factors listed or described from time to time in the Company's filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission including, without limitation, the Company's most recent filings on Forms 10-K, 8-K, and 10-Q. Except as may be required by law, CTI does not intend to update or alter its forward-looking statements whether as a result of new information, future events, or otherwise.

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SOURCE Cell Therapeutics, Inc.
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