Zevalin Used in Auto Stem Cell Transplant Effective for Chemo Resistant Aggressive NHL

Researchers from Israel reported at ASCO this week that the use of Zevalin (Yttrium 90 Ibritumomab Tiuxetan) used with high-dose chemotherapy and autologous stem cell transplant provides an effective treatment option for patients with aggressive non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma (NHL) in first or subsequent relapse.

Zevalin is a combination of Rituxan attached to the isotope Yttrium 90. The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved Zevalin for the treatment of patients with low-grade NHL that has stopped responding to standard therapies. The approval indicates that Zevalin must be used in combination with Rituxan®.

The trial presented at ASCO included 20 patients with a median age of 55 years whos NHL had become resistant to prior chemotherapy, with a median 3 prior regimens. NHL subtypes included mantle cell NHL, diffuse large cell and transformed follicular NHL.

14 patients achieved complete response (CR) and 4 achieved a partial response (PR). Estimated one-year survival is nearly 60%. Estimated one-year progression-free survival is 53%. The day 100 treatment-related mortality was 10%.

The researchers concluded that the inclusion of Zevalin into high-dose chemotherapy regimens may improve disease-free survival and overall survival compared to high-dose chemotherapy and stem cell transplantation alone in patients with refractory, aggressive NHL. ASCO.org

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