Sunday, September 27, 2015

New hope for older Hodgkin lymphoma patients

They lymph node system
throughout the body is part
of the immune system.
CANCER DIGEST – Sept. 27, 2015 – A new engineered antibody drug may offer hope for people over 60 with Hodgkin lymphoma, early results from a clinical trial show.

In the small trial of 27 people averaging 78 years old, with the disease, who were not able or willing to undergo standard chemotherapy, 24 achieved an objective response, meaning the drug halted the progression of the cancer or caused it to go into remission.
Of those patients 19 achieved a complete remission, meaning the caner decreased and tumor volume was reduced. The early results were published in this month’s issue of Blood.

The response lasted 9 months overall, with shorter duration for half the patients and longer duration for the other half. The cancer stopped progressing for a median of 10.5 months, again, half of the people achieving a longer progression-free period and half a shorter progression-free survival.

The new drug, called brentuximab vedotin, is and antibody that targets a protein on cancer cells that has been engineered to carry a cancer cell-killing agent to the tumor cells. Currently the drug, made by Seattle Genetics, Inc., is FDA approved for patients with Hodgkin lymphoma only after only failing a stem cell transplant or at least two other multi-chemotherapy regimens. It is available to certain Hodgkin patients enrolled in a variety of clinical trials.

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