New chemotherapy pill shows promise for stubborn lymphomas

Parents of children with intellectual disabilities have long been frustrated by IQ testing that tells them little to nothing about their children’s long-term learning potential. That’s because the tests are scored according to the mean performance of children without disabilities, so the raw scores of many intellectually disabled children are converted to the lowest normalized

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A new chemotherapy pill is showing early success in treating people with stubborn lymphomas, according to scientists at the University of Rochester Medical Center. Doctors reported that the drug is halting disease in nearly half of the patients with chronic lymphocytic leukemia, and in patients with more aggressive lymphoma as well.

Scientists and oncologists are interested in the investigative drug, fostamatinib disodium, because it targets a common protein in normal B cells - white blood cells that fight infection — and lymphoma and leukemia cells. The druginhibits the activity of this protein, called SYK (spleen tyrosine kinase), which leads to regression of lymphoma.Jonathan Friedberg, M.D., director of hematological malignancies clinical research, shared results of Phase 1 and 2 clinical trials in the plenary session at the prestigious American Society of Hematology conference in San Francisco.

In the Phase 2 study, doctors treated 68 patients with varying forms of recurrent lymphoma and CLL.These patients had previously received numerous therapies, including stem cell transplants and radioimmunotherapy.These patients had few standard therapeutic options.

The twice-a-day pill, produced by Rigel, brought disease regression in 54 percent of the patients with CLL and in 21 percent of the patients who had diffuse large B cell lymphoma. Additional patients saw their disease stabilize, and others have remained on therapy for more than 1 year.

“This is good news for patients “This treatment represents an example of ‘targeted therapy,’ where a tumor-specific protein is inhibited, resulting in significant disease activity without the side effects of standard chemotherapy,” said Friedberg, who receives research funding from Rigel. “We are currently studying this drug in the laboratory to determine the subgroup of patients who may benefit the most from this therapy. We also are exploring combinations of this drug with other agents, to enhance curability of aggressive lymphomas.”

There are many forms of lymphoma and this new therapy may offer patients with recurrent disease - CLL, small lymphocytic lymphoma and diffuse large B-cell lymphoma — another option as they progress through various treatments for the resistant disease.

Lymphomas are diagnosed in about 66,000 people each year in the United States. It is the fifth most common cancer, excluding skin cancers. Although some types of lymphoma are more common in children, it is largely a disease of aging adults.The average age at diagnosis is in the 60s and around half of patients are older than 65.


Statins, drugs widely prescribed to lower cholesterol, do not interfere with a commonly used medication to treat lymphomas, according to a Mayo Clinic study presented at the 50th Annual Meeting of the American Society of Hematology in San Francisco. In fact, statins may slow the progression of certain types of lymphoma. The study focused on

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Kiadis Pharma has announced that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has granted its product Reviroc Orphan Drug Designations (ODD) for the treatment of two types of Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma (NHL). One ODD has been granted for diffuse large B-cell lymphoma and the other one for the treatment of follicular lymphoma. Reviroc(TM) is under development

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Preliminary results of a pivotal Phase 2 clinical trial of pralatrexate (PDX), a drug that partially works by mimicking folic acid, showed a complete or partial response in 27 percent of patients with recurrent or resistant peripheral T-cell lymphoma (PTCL). PROPEL (Pralatrexate in patients with Relapsed Or refractory PEripheral T-cell Lymphoma) findings were presented by

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Researchers at the Keck School of Medicine of the University of Southern California (USC) have explained how certain key mutations occur in human lymphomas - a process that has, until now, remained a mystery. The findings of the study, published in the Dec. 12 issue of the journal Cell, will have a significant impact on

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