Novartis's Afinitor (everolimus) tablets shrank tumors in half for 33% of patients with relapsed non-Hodgkin's lymphoma and Hodgkin's disease, according to the firm. A phase II, open-label trial of 145 lymphoma patients was presented at the 2009 EHA in Berlin. The median time to disease progression for all 145 patients was 4.3 months and the median duration of response for the 48 responders was 6.8 months. After six months, 19 responders remained progression free.
The company has initiated a phase III trial in the most common non-Hodgkin's lymphoma based on results from the trial. PILLAR-2 (PIvotaL Lymphoma triAls of RAD001) will investigate adjuvant treatment with everolimus in poor-risk patients with diffuse large B-cell lymphoma who achieved complete remission with first-line rituximab(Drug information on rituximab) (Rituxan) combined with chemotherapy.