Rituximab Continues to Show Promise in Battle Against Lymphoma

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According to a recent randomized controlled trial, rituximab increased the duration of remission in elderly patients with mantle cell lymphoma by nearly double the previous totals.

The first set of results from the European Mantle Cell Lymphoma (MCL) Network study indicated the treatment option was linked to a median remission of 77 months. For the sake of comparison, another less effective means of treatment had a median of 24 months, significantly less. And while the overall survival totals are not yet fully mature, in all likelihood, the numbers will improve even more as time goes on.

"Rituximab after R-CHOP [rituximab, cyclophosphamide (Cytoxan), hydroxydaunorubicin (doxorubicin, Adriamycin), Oncovin (vincristine), and prednisolone] should become the new standard for elderly MCL patients to which new regimens should be compared," said study investigator Dr. Hanneke C. Kluin-Nelemans of the University Medical Center of Groningen, the Netherlands.

"MCL is a disease of the elderly," Dr. Kluin-Nelemans also noted.

Over 60 percent of the patients dealing with MCL are over the age of sixty, and as such, face limited treatment options.

"We have shown it’s possible to do a large [randomized controlled trial] with two randomization steps in fit, elderly patients with MCL," Dr. Kluin-Nelemans said.

"Rituximab more than doubles the remission duration in patients depending upon initial therapy."

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