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Innovative Cancer Drug MabThera Again Shown To Improve Survival,Rates In Patients With Lymphoma

Adding MabThera to first line chemotherapy significantly increases patients_ overall survival

BASEL, Switzerland (21 May, 2007) _ In a study published yesterday in the Journal of Clinical Oncology, MabThera (rituximab) plus chemotherapy (MCP*) was shown to significantly improve survival in patients with follicular lymphoma (FL) compared to chemotherapy alone.1 Follicular lymphoma is the most common type of indolent lymphoma, a slow progressing but incurable form of lymphoma.

The study demonstrated that the chances of surviving from this cancer are improved by the addition of 8 cycles of MabThera to chemotherapy - overall survival at 4 years for patients treated with MabThera plus chemotherapy was 87%, compared to only 74% for patients receiving chemotherapy alone. Additionally, patients receiving MabThera combined with chemotherapy remained in remission significantly longer than those receiving chemotherapy alone (median progression free survival has not been reached in MabThera patients vs. 29 months in patients who received chemotherapy alone). These results further strengthens the position of MabThera as the cornerstone of first-line treatment of indolent NHL, regardless of the chemotherapy used.

_The data presented in this study clearly demonstrate a significant survival benefit to patients from adding MabThera to first line treatment in indolent NHL,_ commented Prof. Michael Herold, lead investigator for the trial. _We are encouraged by the results and believe that MabThera should be added to the treatment regimen, irrespective of the type of chemotherapy used._

Non-Hodgkin_s lymphoma affects 1 million people worldwide. About 45% of NHL patients have the indolent form of the disease, which while slow to progress, has no cure. NHL is one of the fastest growing cancers and has grown in incidence by 80% since the early 1970s.

*mitoxantrone, chlorambucil and prednisolone


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