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Radioimmunotherapy of Non-Hodgkin's Lymphomas

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The availability of active monoclonal antibodies has altered the treatment paradigms for patients with non-Hodgkin's lymphomas (NHL). Nevertheless, some patients do not respond, while almost all of the others eventually relapse and require additional treatment. Thus, more effective alternatives are needed. Radioimmunotherapy (RIT) is an attractive option because of the inherent radiosensitivity of most NHL. Yttrium-90 ibritumomab tiuxetan and iodine-131 tositumomab are the first two radioimmunoconjugates currently available for clinical use. These agents appear comparably active in patients with follicular and low-grade NHL after failure following chemotherapy and/or rituximab. Activity has also been demonstrated against other histologies, including diffuse large B-cell NHL, mantle cell NHL, and transformed NHL. Toxicities primarily include myelosuppression, with a potential risk of treatmentassociated myelodysplastic syndrome and acute myelogenous leukemia. Current clinical trials are attempting to optimize the use of these agents by evaluating them earlier in the course of the disease, and sequenced with a variety of chemotherapy regimens. Hopefully, the rational development of RIT will lead to a prolongation of survival for patients with NHL.

Keywords: Southwest Oncology Group (SWOG); acute myelogenous leukemia (AML); ibritumomab; radioisotope; tositumomab

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: Georgetown University Hospital,Lombardi Comprehensive Cancer Center, 3800 Reservoir Rd, N.W.,Washington, D.C. 20007 USA.

Publication date: October 1, 2006

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  • Current Drug Targets aims to cover the latest and most outstanding developments on the medicinal chemistry and pharmacology of molecular drug targets e.g. disease specific proteins, receptors, enzymes, genes. Each issue of the journal will be devoted to a single timely topic, with series of in-depth reviews, written by leaders in the field, covering a range of current topics on drug targets. These issues will be organized and led by a guest editor who is a recognized expert in the overall topic. As the discovery, identification, characterisation and validation of novel human drug targets for drug discovery continues to grow; this journal will be essential reading for all pharmaceutical scientists involved in drug discovery and development.

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