(RxWiki News) A new type of medication that disables lymphoma tumor cells has shown considerable success for patients who were not responding to other treatments.
Researchers recently tested brentuximab vedotin (brand name Adcetris) in patients with non-Hodgkin lymphoma, most of whom did not respond to a previous therapy.
These researchers found that, after eight months, almost half of the patients enrolled in the study were in full remission (no cancer activity) or partial remission (50 percent reduction in tumor growth).
"Talk to an oncologist about treatment options for non-Hodgkin lymphoma."
Eric Jacobsen, MD, of the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, led this study.
Non-Hodgkin lymphoma is a type of cancer that arises from abnormal white blood cells, called lymphocytes. Lymphocytes are part of the body's immune system.
The medication that the researchers tested was brentuximab vedotin, an antibody-toxin compound. This medication is a type of antibody-drug conjugate, a new kind of treatment for cancer that can distinguish between healthy and unhealthy tissue.
The medication binds to CD30 molecules, which are frequently found on cancerous lymphoma cells. Once the molecule is consumed by cancer cells, the brentuximab vedotin disables the cell.
There are several types of lymphocytes that lymphomas can affect. Brentuximab vedotin has previously been approved for treating lymphomas that target T-cell lymphocytes. This study investigated whether the medication could work for patients with B-cell lymphomas as well.
The researchers have enrolled 62 patients with B-cell non-Hodgkin lymphoma with an average age of 55 years old.
Each of the patients had previously received an average of two therapies before enrolling in this study.
A total of 76 percent of the patients had not responded to their most recent type of treatment, and 14 patients (23 percent) had never responded to treatment at all.
The patients received brentuximab vedotin treatment every three weeks through an IV. When the researchers analyzed the data, the patients had received an average of three cycles of treatment, lasting an average total of 10.5 weeks.
Of the 43 patients with diffuse large B-cell lymphoma who could be evaluated, seven were in remission and 10 were in partial remission for non-Hodgkin lymphoma after an average duration of 36 weeks.
Among the 18 patients with other B-cell lymphomas, 22 percent responded to the treatment.
Many patients experienced adverse events including fatigue, nausea, fever and diarrhea.
The researchers concluded that the use of brentuximab vedotin led to significant antitumor activity after eight months of treatment.
They noted that this study continues to enroll participants for futher research on the medication.
This research was presented at the American Society of Hematology meeting on December 10.