Innovative treatment approach to mantle cell lymphoma results in a high complete remission rate


PHILADELPHIA, PA, June 21, 2004 Mantle cell lymphoma, a subtype of adult non-Hodgkin's lymphoma (NHL), accounts for approximately 5% of NHL in the United States and Europe. Standard treatment of mantle cell lymphoma using chemotherapy has demonstrated poor results in advancing survival time, suggesting that new and innovative treatments be researched. Physicians from Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in New York City rose to the clinical challenge and presented their results at the Society of Nuclear Medicine's 51st Annual Meeting.

For the study, 13 patients with a median age of 68 were enrolled. The patients all showed untreated measurable disease with less than 25% bone marrow involvement. When researchers administered radioimmunotherapy (RIT) and chemotherapy sequentially, the results--a high remission rate among those who finished the full treatment--showed exceptional promise.

Although mantle cell lymphoma is extremely radiosensitive, radiation therapy alone is insufficient treatment for MCL because of its systemic nature. The researchers theorized that by administering RIT then following 1316 weeks later with 6 rounds of chemotherapy, they could first reduce the tumor burden, then reach the systemic disease.

When the researchers paired the two approaches, the results were highly encouraging, leading the authors to conclude that sequential RIT followed by chemotherapy for mantle cell lymphoma is both feasible and effective. After all sequential treatments were completed, the overall response rate (ORR) was 75%. Of the ten participants who finished all treatments, nine were in complete remission.

Mantle cell lymphoma is usually diagnosed in an advanced stage with disease involvement in the lymph nodes, spleen, bone marrow, and distant nodal sites. It is an aggressive disease with an average survival time of three to five years. Because mantle cell lymphoma is a relatively newly characterized subtype of non-Hodgkin's lymphoma, innovative approaches to treatment are being sought.

According to Dr. Chaitanya R. Divgi, MD, "though further follow-up is necessary to determine if this novel therapeutic approach represents a treatment advance in mantle cell lymphoma, the results of this particular study--a 90% complete remission rate--were outstanding."

Source: Eurekalert & others

Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 21 Feb 2009
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