Study Suggests New Options for Follicular Lymphoma
Treatment with a radiolabeled monoclonal antibody appears to be highly effective as consolidation after first-line therapy in patients with indolent, advanced-stage follicular lymphoma, according to results of a large phase III clinical trial published October 14 in the Journal of Clinical Oncology (JCO).
The results showed that consolidation therapy - a form of adjuvant therapy after initial or "induction" therapy to induce remission - with a single dose of yttrium-90 (90Y)-ibritumomab tiuxetan (Zevalin) significantly improved progression-free survival in all patient subgroups compared to patients in the control arm, who received induction therapy but not consolidation therapy. 90Y-ibritumomab is a monoclonal antibody with a radioactive isotope attached to it.
The improvement in progression-free survival held up regardless of whether patients had a complete response (CR) or partial response (PR) to induction therapy: 53.9 months vs. 29.5 months for CR and 29.3 months vs. 6.2 months for PR. In addition, the multinational research team, led by investigators at the Universitair Medisch Centrum Utrecht in the Netherlands, reported 77 percent of patients in the treatment arm with a PR to induction therapy "converted" to a CR after receiving 90Y-ibritumomab. Read more
Gene Signature May Predict Recurrence of Liver Cancer
Researchers have enhanced a genetic technique for studying chemically preserved tissue samples and used it to discover a gene signature that may identify patients with liver cancer who are at risk of a recurrence. Their findings also suggest that some late recurrences (more than 2 years after the initial disease) may not be recurrences at all, but rather new primary tumors that develop in a liver damaged by environmental factors such as infection by a hepatitis virus or cirrhosis.
In the study, published online October 15 in the New England Journal of Medicine (NEJM), Dr. Todd Golub of the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and his colleagues first overcame a technical challenge. Genome-wide expression profiling studies, which are large-scale surveys of gene activity in cells, have led to new classifications of cancers and diagnostic tools, but they can only be performed on frozen samples. Vast stores of patient samples, including specimens with long-term clinical follow-up, have been preserved with the chemical formalin rather than by freezing, and therefore are unavailable for genomic analyses. Read more