Health Discoveries in Hodgkin's Lymphoma

New drug may stop tumor growth in Hodgkin's lymphoma

November 9, 2010
Researchers at the University of Alabama at Birmingham found that the experimental drug, brentuximab vedotin (SGN-35), may be successful in stopping tumor growth in patients with Hodgkin's lymphoma with only moderate side effects.

Their Phase 1 study, published recently in the New England Journal of Medicine, tested the maximum tolerated dosage. Of the 42 patients enrolled in the trial, 36 experienced tumor regression that lasted more than nine months.

"There is a large percentage of patients with Hodgkin's lymphoma or anaplastic large-cell lymphoma who do not respond well to traditional therapies such as chemotherapy or autologous stem-cell transplantation," said Dr. Andres Forero-Torres. "SNG-35 appears to be satisfactorily tolerated at 1.8 mg and may offer promise to those patients for whom other therapies have proven to be unsuccessful."

As many as 30 percent of Hodgkin's disease patients don't respond to conventional therapy.

In the study, the most common side effects reported by patients were fatigue, fever, diarrhea, nausea, low white blood-cell count and discomfort in hands and feet.

The North Shore-LIJ Health System's Cancer Institute has a hematologic malignancy service that focuses on Hodgkin's Disease and non-Hodgkin lymphomas, as well as leukemia, multiple myeloma and myelodysplastic syndrome.
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