Velcade with & without Rituxan Shows Positive Activity Against Lymphomas

Millennium Pharmaceuticals today announced Velcade study results for the treatment of patients with indolent and mantle cell non-Hodgkin's lymphomas (NHL), and Waldenstom's Macroglobulemia at the 9th International Conference of Malignant Lymphoma in Lugano, Switzerland.

Interim study results were reported from the multicenter, phase II trial of weekly versus twice-weekly dosing of Velcade in combination with Rituxan, in patients with indolent lymphomas. In these patients who were previously pretreated with chemotherapy and Rituxan, response rates were similar in both arms (35 and 41 percent) and the safety profile improved with the weekly schedule.

"We are very encouraged by the combination data results and given that many patients are still being treated and have not progressed, we could potentially see more responses," said Mansoor Saleh, M.D., of Georgia Cancer Specialists, Atlanta, GA., who presented the indolent lymphoma findings at the meeting. "We are especially excited about the weekly dosing schedule which combines added convenience and promising response rates with a well tolerated safety profile."

Data from a separate multicenter study, sponsored by the National Cancer Institute, directed by Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center and also presented at the meeting, indicated promising response rates and progression-free survival in follicular, marginal zone and mantle cell lymphomas with single agent Velcade (56, 43 and 40 percent, respectively).

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