Non-Hodgkin Rx Trial Halted

Pfizer discontinues phase III trial on investigation compound for non Hodgkin lymphoma

/ Author:  / Reviewed by: Joseph V. Madia, MD

(RxWiki News) A new medication that was thought to hold promise for non-Hodgkin lymphoma has been stopped. Pfizer announced it has halted its trial of the investigational compound inotuzumab ozogamicin.

The medication was designed to treat patients who couldn’t take high-dose chemotherapy and whose aggressive non-Hodgkin lymphoma (NHL) had returned or was no longer responsive to other therapies.

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NHL is not a single disease. It's actually a term that refers to many types of cancer of the lymphatic system, which is a key part of how the body fights off invaders. The different diseases that make up NHL can have different symptoms, physical signs and treatment.

Nearly 70,000 Americans will learn they have NHL, and 19,000 individuals will succumb to it.

For the trial, the compound inotuzumab ozogamicin (IO) was given to patients once a month along with the medicine rituximab (Rituxan) and compared with patients who took either bendamustine (Treanda) plus rituximab or gemcitabine (Gemzar) plus rituximab.

The trial was stopped because investigators found that IO plus rituximab did not improve lifespan compared to the other medication combinations. The company reported that no new or unexpected safety issues surfaced during the trial.

In a prepared statement, Mace Rothenberg, MD, senior vice president of clinical development and medical affairs for Pfizer’s Oncology Business Unit, said, “Hematologic cancers are a complex group of diseases, with more than 70 different types of lymphomas, leukemias or myelomas that require unique treatment options. We remain committed to evaluating inotuzumab ozogamicin in patients with hematologic malignancies.”

This compound is still being investigated as a treatment for acute lymphoblastic leukemia.

Reviewed by: 
Review Date: 
May 21, 2013
Last Updated:
August 30, 2013