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MabThera Significantly Extends Survival And Cures More Patients,With Aggressive Lymphoma Than Chemotherapy Alone

nts with aggressive NHL," said William M. Burns, CEO Division Roche Pharma. "Seven years after the GELA trial, over half of the MabThera patients are still alive, offering hope of a cure for thousands more."

Non-Hodgkin's lymphoma (NHL) affects 1 million people worldwide. It is estimated that 360,000 people die each year from the disease (2). Approximately 40% of NHL patients present with an aggressive form of the disease, which, if left untreated, is generally fatal within six months.

About the study The study was conducted at 86 centers in France, Belgium, and Switzerland. A total of 398 patients were enrolled between July 1998 and March 2000. Previously untreated patients with diffuse large-B-cell lymphoma, 60 to 80 years old, were randomly assigned to receive either eight cycles of CHOP every three weeks (197 patients) or eight cycles of CHOP plus rituximab given on day 1 of each cycle (202 patients). The primary end point in this study was event-free survival.

About MabThera MabThera is a therapeutic antibody that binds to a particular protein - the CD20 antigen - on the surface of normal and malignant B-cells. It then recruits the body's natural defences to attack and kill the marked B-cells. Stem cells (B-cell progenitors) in bone marrow lack the CD20 antigen, allowing healthy B-cells to regenerate after treatment and return to normal levels within several months.

MabThera is indicated for the treatment of indolent and aggressive Non-Hodgkin's Lymphoma. MabThera is known as Rituxan in the United States, Japan and Canada. To date, patients have received more than 1 million treatments with MabThera worldwide.

Genentech and Biogen Idec co-market MabThera in the United States, and Roche markets MabThera in the rest of the world, except Japan, where MabThera is co-marketed by Chugai and Zenyaku Kogyo Co. Ltd.

About Roche Headquartered in Basel, Switzerland, Roche is one of the world's leading research-focused healthcare gr
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