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Monoclonal Antibodies in Hematologic Malignancies: Clinical Status

Monoclonal Antibodies in Hematologic Malignancies: Clinical Status

The 42nd Annual Meeting of the American Society of Hematology (ASH), held December 1-5, 2000, in San Francisco, featured a record number of abstracts focusing on the revolutionary clinical applications of monoclonal antibodies to a wide variety of hematologic malignancies. This supplement to ONCOLOGY highlights 30 of the more than 500 abstracts on recent dramatic advances in monoclonal antibody therapy presented at the ASH meeting.

Some of the abstracts selected for this supplement update the therapeutic experience with the unconjugated antibody rituximab (Rituxan) in B-cell non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. Other studies explore rituximab’s expanding therapeutic indications for other lymphoid malignancies, review the role of CAMPATH-1H, and introduce the different therapeutic conjugated antibody options, such as the iodine-131-labeled anti-CD22 antibody epratuzumab (hLL2 [LymphoCide]), tositumomab/iodine-131 tositumomab (Bexxar), and the yttrium-labeled anti-CD20 antibody ibritumomab tiuxetan (Zevalin).

In order to place these new studies into perspective, we asked Bruce D. Cheson, MD, Head of the Medicine Section, National Cancer Institute, to write a series of commentaries. A recognized authority on the lymphomas and leukemias, Dr. Cheson offers his views on how the results of these studies impact the hematologist-oncologist confronting the new challenges in choosing from the large and continuously growing therapeutic paradigms of monoclonal antibodies.

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