Oncology NEWS International Vol 11 No 2

R115777 Has Significant Activity in CML and Myelofibrosis

February 01, 2002

HOUSTON-The farnesyl transferase inhibitor R115777 (tipifarnib, also known as Zarnestra) produced an overall response rate of 33% in patients with chronic myelogenous leukemia (CML) and decreased splenomegaly in most patients with myelofibrosis, but was not effective in multiple myeloma, reported Deborah Thomas, MD, at the 43rd Annual Meeting of the American Society of Hematology. Dr. Thomas is assistant professor in the Department of Leukemia at The University of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer Center in Houston.

National Cancer Prevention Campaign Discussed

February 01, 2002

In this second portion of a two-part interview, Linda L. Emanuel, MD, PhD, discusses the future of bioethics. Part I highlighted end-of-life care and physician-assisted suicide, while part II focuses on organizational ethics and future issues in bioethics.

CHOP Plus Rituxan Proves Cost-Effective in B-Cell Lymphoma

February 01, 2002

STANFORD, California-The cost-effectiveness of rituximab (Rituxan) combined with CHOP chemotherapy (cyclophosphamide [Cytoxan, Neosar], doxorubicin HCl, vincristine [Oncovin], prednisone) in the treatment of patients with diffuse large B-cell lymphoma compares favorably to other oncology therapies in this setting, according to a study presented at the 43rd Annual Meeting of the American Society of Hematology.

I-131 Tositumomab More Effective Than Unlabeled Antibody in Relapsed or Refractory NHL

February 01, 2002

ANN ARBOR, Michigan-Tositumomab with radioactive I-131 attached (Bexxar) is more effective than the unlabeled antibody in relapsed or refractory CD20-positive non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma (NHL), according to Mark S. Kaminski, MD. Dr. Kaminski reported data from a randomized, open-label, multicenter study comparing the two formulations at the 43rd Annual Meeting of the American Society of Hematology. He is professor of internal medicine at the University of Michigan Comprehensive Cancer Center in Ann Arbor.

Adding Rituximab to Fludarabine and Cyclophosphamide Boosts Efficacy Against CLL

February 01, 2002

HOUSTON-The combination of fludarabine (Fludara) and cyclophosphamide (Cytoxan, Neosar) plus rituximab (Rituxan), known as FCR, produces "a higher complete remission rate than prior regimens tested" against chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL), reported William Wierda, MD, of the department of leukemia at The University of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer Center in Houston. In addition, molecular remissions can be demonstrated in a significant number of those responding to the FCR combination.

Lung Cancer Screening Protocol Moves Forward

February 01, 2002

NEW YORK-An evolving international protocol for early lung cancer screening is moving beyond initial scrutiny and pilot application, bringing prospects for widespread and cost-effective screening one step closer to clinical practice.

Cancer Prevention Research Hampered by Lack of Biomarkers

February 01, 2002

WASHINGTON-"The search for cancer prevention agents is hampered by the fact that only one biomarker-the prostate-specific antigen (PSA)-now offers a simple, noninvasive measure of the cancer process in the body," Robert W. Day, MD, PhD, said at a meeting of the Cancer Prevention Working Group, sponsored by the Cancer Research Foundation of America (CRFA). "The need for cancer biomarkers is critical, not only for their diagnostic benefits but also to provide endpoints for judging the effectiveness of any proposed chemopreventive agents."

Rituximab Improves Efficacy of Chemotherapy for Follicular Lymphomas

February 01, 2002

ORLANDO, Florida-Adding rituximab (Rituxan) to standard chemotherapy for follicular lymphoma regimens improves the rate and quality of responses and increases clearance of the bcl-2/IgH chimeric gene, according to studies from US and Italian cooperative groups reported at the 43rd Annual Meeting of the American Society of Hematology.

Rituximab Plus Fludarabine Shows Excellent Antitumor Activity in Low-Grade Lymphoma

February 01, 2002

BUFFALO, New York-Final data from a phase II study of rituximab (Rituxan) plus fludarabine (Fludara) in low-grade lymphoma show that this combination is associated with excellent antitumor activity, clears bcl-2-positive cells from blood and/or bone marrow in most patients, and is well tolerated, according to Myron S. Czuczman, MD. Dr. Czuczman, who is chief of the Division of Lymphoma at Roswell Park Cancer Institute in Buffalo, New York, presented this single-institution study in a poster session at the 43rd Annual Meeting of the American Society of Hematology.

Long Survival Confirmed in CML Patients Who Respond to Interferon

February 01, 2002

ORLANDO-Patients with chronic myelogenous leukemia (CML) who have a complete cytogenetic response (CCgR) to interferon-alfa have a long survival, and low-risk patients have a projected 10-year survival of more than 80%, Francesca

Concurrent vs Sequential Rituximab and Fludarabine Elicits Higher Complete Response in CLL

February 01, 2002

COLUMBUS, Ohio-Concurrent administration of rituximab (Rituxan) and fludarabine (Fludara) produced higher complete response rates in previously untreated patients with chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) than sequential administration, according to results of a phase II Cancer and Leukemia Group B study.

Median PFS Not Yet Reached After 6 Years in Rituximab/CHOP Trial

February 01, 2002

BUFFALO, New York-Median progression-free survival has still not been reached after 6 years median follow-up of 40 patients with low-grade or follicular non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma (NHL) treated in the first clinical trial of rituximab (Rituxan) in combination with CHOP (cyclophosphamide [Cytoxan, Neosar], doxorubicin HCl, vincristine [Oncovin], and prednisone), Myron S. Czuczman, MD, reported.

With Longer Follow-Up, Imatinib Continues to Improve Response Rates in CML

February 01, 2002

ORLANDO, Florida-Updated data from two phase II trials show that imatinib mesylate (Gleevec, STI571) continues to improve response rates for patients with chronic myelogenous leukemia (CML) who did not respond to interferon therapy or are in blast crisis. With follow-up of 12 months or more, overall and complete response rates are proving to be durable and toxicities tolerable

Rituximab/Hyper-CVAD Achieves High Complete Responses in Aggressive Mantle Cell Lymphoma

February 01, 2002

HOUSTON-In patients 65 years or younger with untreated mantle cell lymphoma (MCL), adding rituximab (Rituxan) to the hyper-CVAD/methotrexate/cytarabine (Ara-C) regimen produced high complete remission rates and failure-free survival rates equivalent to those reported for hyper-CVAD followed by stem cell transplants.

MCP Active in Advanced Indolent NHL

February 01, 2002

ERFURT, Germany-Interim data from a randomized phase III study show that MCP (mitoxantrone [Novantrone], chlorambucil [Leukeran], prednisolone) with or without rituximab (Rituxan) is active in advanced indolent lymphomas. Michael Herold, MD, reporting for the Ostdeutsche Studiengruppe Haematologie/Oncologie (OSHO), said, "The response rate of 81% is within the range of that seen with standard therapies. The complete response (CR) rate of 40% was highly encouraging, particularly given the multi-institutional setting of this study. To date, no significant change in response has been seen with the addition of rituximab to MCP, but further follow-up is needed to determine if the addition of rituximab will improve the duration of response."

NCI Releases Report on Nation’s Progress Against Cancer

February 01, 2002

BETHESDA, Maryland-The National Cancer Institute’s Cancer Progress Report 2001-a living document that the Institute will update once or twice a year online and every few years in printed form-renders a mixed judgment about the nation’s success in reducing the burden of cancer.

Tandem Transplants Increase CR, Reduce Treatment Mortality in Multiple Myeloma

February 01, 2002

SEATTLE-A two-stage procedure that combines high-dose chemotherapy with autologous stem cell transplantation (SCT) with an immunosuppressive (but not myeloablative) allogeneic SCT in multiple myeloma improves complete response rate and decreases treatment-related mortality.

Rituximab Ups FCM Response in Indolent Lymphomas

February 01, 2002

MUNICH-Adding rituximab (Rituxan) increases the efficacy of FCM (fludarabine [Fludara], cyclophosphamide [Cytoxan, Neosar], mitoxantrone [Novantrone]) in relapsed or refractory follicular (FCL) or mantle cell lymphomas (MCL), reported Martin Dreyling, MD. "This is the first randomized study that proves the benefit of rituximab in indolent lymphomas," said Dr. Dreyling, who reported on behalf of the German Low Grade Lymphoma Study Group (GLSG), directed by W. Hiddemann, Munich, at the 43rd Annual Meeting of the American Society of Hematology.

Modified Hyper-CVAD Reduces Induction Mortality in Older ALL Patients

February 01, 2002

HOUSTON-A modified "hyper-CVAD" (cyclophosphamide [Cytoxan, Neosar], vincristine, doxorubicin [Adriamycin], dexamethasone) regimen, which included the addition of rituximab (Rituxan) for CD20-positive patients and the use of laminar airflow rooms for patients who were elderly or had poor performance status, reduced induction mortality in older patients with acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL). Overall mortality was not changed, because a number of patients died of other causes while in complete remission (CR).

National Cancer Prevention Campaign Discussed

February 01, 2002

WASHINGTON-If Katie Couric’s on-air exam made colonoscopy a household word, the time may have come for a nationwide campaign to prevent cancer. Any national program for preventing cancer must be relevant, collaborative, and

Imatinib Produces Excellent Clinical Responses in Newly Diagnosed CML

February 01, 2002

ORLANDO-Imatinib mesylate (STI-571, Gleevec) is showing excellent results in newly diagnosed patients with chronic myelogenous leukemia (CML) in the early chronic phase, scientists reported at the 43rd Annual Meeting of the American

Rituximab Adds Survival Advantage to Fludarabine/Cyclophosphamide for CLL

February 01, 2002

HOUSTON-Adding rituximab (Rituxan) to fludarabine (Fludara)/cyclophosphamide (Cytoxan, Neosar) (FCR) prolongs survival in patients with relapsed chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL), according to Guillermo Garcia-Manero, MD. Dr. Garcia-Manero is assistant professor in the Department of Leukemia at The University of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer Center in Houston. He presented updated data on this study in a poster at the 43rd Annual Meeting of the American Society of Hematology.

Oregovomab Is Promising as Ovarian Cancer Treatment

February 01, 2002

NEW YORK-A monoclonal antibody with high affinity for an ovarian tumor-associated antigen has shown promising activity in preliminary results from a large phase III study, said Jonathan S. Berek, MD, chief of the Division of Gynecology

Lung Cancer Screening Focuses on Part-Solid Nodules

February 01, 2002

NEW YORK-Lung cancer screening investigators are sharpening their focus on the small, only partly solid nodules they observe on initial and follow-up spiral CT. Recent data show that these nodules are more often malignant than completely

NHL Often the Initial AIDS-Defining Illness

February 01, 2002

ORLANDO-A large percentage of HIV-infected patients present with non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma (NHL) as their initial AIDS-defining illness, according to a retrospective study in patients with HIV-related systemic NHL at one institution. Garrett R. Lynch, MD, reviewed the data at the American Society of Hematology (ASH) annual meeting (abstract 1434).

Selection for Herceptin by FISH Improves Survival

February 01, 2002

SAN ANTONIO-A retrospective study presented at the 24th Annual San Antonio Breast Cancer Symposium (abstract 18) has shown that breast cancer patients selected for treatment with trastuzumab (Herceptin) combination therapy on the basis of HER-2 gene amplification by fluorescent in situ hybridization (FISH) may have improved clinical benefits.

Study Estimates Worldwide Prevalence of 25 Adult Cancers

February 01, 2002

LYON, France-A study from the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) shows a higher cancer prevalence in the developed world, primarily because of longer life expectancy in richer countries (Int J Cancer 97:72-81, 2002).

Panel Envisions New Translational Program to Hasten Hematologic Cancer Drug Research and Development

February 01, 2002

BETHESDA, Maryland-A National Cancer Institute (NCI) panel, which explored how to improve survival among leukemia, lymphoma, and myeloma patients and stem the soaring death rates for those with non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma and multiple myeloma, has recommended giving priority to 10 areas of research.

Imatinib Plus Interferon Produces High Rate of Hematologic Response in CML

February 01, 2002

ORLANDO, Florida-Two phase I/II studies indicate that combination treatment with imatinib mesylate (Gleevec, also known as STI571) produces a high rate of hematologic response in patients in the chronic phase of chronic myelogenous leukemia (CML). Dose-limiting toxicities were mainly hematologic, and researchers advocate further studies were recommended to establish efficacy and recommended dosing.

R-CHOP Benefits Increase Over Time for Aggressive Large B-Cell Lymphomas in Elderly

February 01, 2002

LYON, France-A year after he presented interim data indicating that R-CHOP produced better results than CHOP alone against aggressive B-cell lymphomas in the elderly, Bertrand Coiffier, MD, reported that the benefits of the combination of rituximab (Rituxan) plus CHOP (cyclophosphamide [Cytoxan, Neosar], doxorubicin HCl, vincristine [Oncovin], prednisone) increased over time.

Dosing Schedule Changes Needed for Use of Liposomal Doxorubicin

February 01, 2002

NEW YORK -The safer and better-tolerated "stealth" form of doxorubicin has a potential for the treatment of metastatic breast cancer that has not yet been realized due to overly toxic dosing schedules, Charles L. Vogel, MD, of Cancer

Adjuvant Chemotherapy Ups Survival in High-Risk Early Ovarian Cancer

February 01, 2002

LISBON, Portugal-Adjuvant platinum-based chemotherapy significantly improves the outlook for women with high-risk early-stage epithelial ovarian cancer, according to the findings of two parallel, randomized phase III trials presented at the 11th European Cancer Conference (ECCO abstract 1019).

Fludarabine/Mitoxantrone/Rituximab Effective in NHL

February 01, 2002

ORLANDO-In advanced-stage low-grade non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma (NHL), a regimen of fludarabine (Fludara) plus mitoxantrone (Novantrone) followed by rituximab (Rituxan) is highly effective and well tolerated, according to study results presented at the 43rd Annual Meeting of the American Society of Hematology (ASH abstract 2534).

Gene Chips Used to Identify Third Form of Pediatric Leukemia

February 01, 2002

BOSTON-A rare pediatric leukemia, previously thought to be a subset of acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL), is actually a distinct form of the disease, according to investigators who used gene chips to create and contrast genetic profiles of cancer cells.

Nicotine Metabolism May Explain Ethnic Variations in Lung Cancer Rates

February 01, 2002

SAN FRANCISCO-Chinese-Americans take in significantly less nicotine per cigarette than whites and Latinos, allowing Chinese-American smokers to smoke fewer cigarettes than their ethnic counterparts to achieve the same nicotine-related

Molecular Studies Suggest Combining Imatinib With Other Agents in Resistant CML

February 01, 2002

MANNHEIM, Germany-Despite encouraging initial responses, patients with chronic myelogenous leukemia (CML) frequently become resistant in the advanced, or blast crisis, phase of the disease after initially responding to selective inhibition of the Bcr-Abl tyrosine kinase by imatinib (Gleevec, also known as STI571).

Chemotherapy Plus Radioimmunotherapy Increases Response in Follicular NHL

February 01, 2002

ORLANDO, Florida-Conventional chemotherapy has limited efficacy against follicular non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma (NHL), but research reported at the 43rd Annual Meeting of the American Society of Hematology showed promising results when conventional regimens were combined with the anti-CD20 drug tositumomab/I-131 tositumomab (Bexxar).

IMiD CC5013 Promising in Advanced Multiple Myeloma

February 01, 2002

ORLANDO-Encouraging preliminary clinical results have paved the way for phase II trials of a novel oral therapy for multiple myeloma. The study, under the leadership of Paul G. Richardson, MD, instructor in medicine, Harvard Medical School, evaluated the safety and efficacy of the immunomodulatory drug (IMiD) CC5013, a thalidomide derivative. He presented the findings at the 43rd annual meeting of the American Society of Hematology (abstract 3225).

Guidelines Developed for Management of Phase I Trial Waiting Lists

February 01, 2002

SAN DIEGO--To relieve the anxiety and frustration cancer patients may feel when being put on a waiting list for enrollment into a phase I trial, clinical trials managers at Vanderbilt have developed wait list guidelines driven by compassion and ethics,

Rituximab/Fludarabine Combination Feasible in CLL

February 01, 2002

COLOGNE, Germany-Combining rituximab (Rituxan) with fludarabine (Fludara) is a feasible, effective strategy in treating chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL), as it produces a 90% response rate and does not increase infection risk beyond that seen with fludarabine alone, Holger Schulz, MD, reported in a poster presentation at the 43rd Annual Meeting of the American Society of Hematology. Dr. Schulz is in the Department of Hematology/Oncology at the University of Cologne, Germany.

Adding Radiotherapy to CHOP Improves Results for Early- or Limited-Stage NHL

February 01, 2002

ORLANDO, Florida-Updated data from two separate studies ratify earlier results showing that following CHOP (cyclophosphamide [Cytoxan, Neosar], doxorubicin HCl, vincristine [Oncovin], prednisone) with radiation improves results for patients with early- or limited-stage non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma (NHL).

Tamoxifen Prevents Benign Breast Lesions in High-Risk Women

February 01, 2002

SAN ANTONIO-Tamoxifen (Nolvadex) therapy not only prevents breast cancer but also benign breast disease in high-risk women, according to a study by the National Surgical Adjuvant Breast and Bowel Project (NSABP) presented at the 24th San Antonio Breast Cancer Symposium (abstract 7). Elizabeth Tan-Chiu, MD, of the NSABP, reported the findings.

Docetaxel Plus Neoadjuvant AC Increases Pathologic Complete Responses in Breast Cancer

February 01, 2002

SAN ANTONIO-The sequential use of docetaxel (Taxotere) after Adriamycin (doxorubicin)/cyclophosphamide (AC) as a neoadjuvant regimen in primary operable breast cancer essentially doubles the rate of pathologic complete responses (CRs),

Optimal Dose for Initial Donor Lymphocyte Infusion Reported for Relapsed CML

February 01, 2002

ROME-Best outcomes from donor lymphocyte infusion in chronic myelogenous leukemia (CML) occur when the first dose does not exceed 0.2 × 108 mononuclear cells/kg, Cesare Guglielmi, MD, reported in a presentation at the 43rd Annual Meeting of the American Society of Clinical Oncology.

Chemo/Radiotherapy Sequence May Not Affect Breast Cancer Outcomes

February 01, 2002

SAN FRANCISCO-Time to failure, time to distant metastasis, and time to death in patients with early-stage breast cancer are not influenced by the order in which chemotherapy and radiotherapy are initiated, according to updated results of a study presented at the 43rd Annual Meeting of the American Society for Therapeutic Radiology and Oncology (ASTRO plenary 4). These latest long-term results are in contrast to earlier findings from the study.

‘Cancer Prevention Must Move From Thought to Reality’

February 01, 2002

WASHINGTON-"Cancer prevention now requires that we move from thought to reality," said Carolyn Aldigé, founder and president of the Cancer Research Foundation of America (CRFA). "This mean a new paradigm of the health care system, rather than just taking care of sick people. Treatment of advanced disease has less impact than prevention."

Rituximab ‘Surprisingly Active’ as First-Line or Maintenance Therapy for SLL and CLL

February 01, 2002

NASHVILLE, Tennessee-A pilot study of rituximab (Rituxan) as first-line therapy for small lymphocytic lymphoma (SLL) or chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) found an overall response rate of 56%, according to John Hainsworth, MD, director of clinical research at the Sarah Cannon Cancer Center in Nashville, Tennessee. Dr. Hainsworth discussed this work in a poster session at the 43rd Annual Meeting of the American Society of Hematology.

New Regimen Prevents Relapse in Testicular NHL

February 01, 2002

ORLANDO-Patients with primary testicular lymphomas treated with CHOP plus intrathecal methotrexate and scrotal radiotherapy had no testicular or central nervous system (CNS) relapses in pilot study data reported by researchers from

New Standards Proposed for Treating Aggressive NHL-Age a Factor

February 01, 2002

HOMBURG, Germany-After conducting trials comparing CHOP (cyclophosphamide [Cytoxan, Neosar], doxorubicin HCl, vincristine [Oncovin], prednisone) with and without etoposide and varying time intervals, the German High-Grade Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma Study Group concluded that CHOP plus etoposide is the new standard regimen for younger patients with low-risk non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma (NHL), and CHOP at 2-week intervals is the new standard regimen for aggressive NHL in older patients.

Weekly Epoetin Ups Hemoglobin Levels, QOL in Anemic Patients

February 01, 2002

CHICAGO-Once-a-week dosing of recombinant human erythropoietin (epoetin alfa, Epogen, Procrit) is as effective as thrice-weekly dosing in improving hemoglobin (Hb) levels in HIV-positive patients who are anemic, Howard A. Grossman, MD, said at the Interscience Conference on Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy (ICAAC abstract 254).

Pegfilgrastim as Effective as Filgrastim Postchemotherapy

February 01, 2002

ORLANDO-The investigational, single-dose cytokine pegfilgrastim worked as well as filgrastim (G-CSF, Neupogen) in decreasing the duration of severe neutropenia following chemotherapy in patients with relapsed or refractory non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma (NHL) or Hodgkin’s disease.

Arimidex Gets FDA Fast Track Designation for Early Breast Cancer

February 01, 2002

WILMINGTON, Delaware-The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has granted fast track designation for AstraZeneca’s Arimidex (anastrozole) for the adjuvant treatment of postmenopausal women with early-stage breast cancer. The decision followed the release of data from the ATAC (Arimidex, Tamoxifen, Alone or in Combination) study at the 24th San Antonio Breast Cancer Symposium.

Sildenafil Improves Sexual Function After Radiotherapy for Prostate Cancer

February 01, 2002

SAN FRANCISCO-Sildenafil (Viagra) is highly effective in improving erectile function in prostate cancer patients following three-dimensional (3D) conformal external radiotherapy, according to a study presented at the 43rd Annual Meeting of the

Concurrent Radiotherapy Plus Chemotherapy Ups Survival in Advanced Head and Neck Cancer

February 01, 2002

CHICAGO-Radio- and chemotherapy delivered concurrently produced greater overall and disease-free survival than radiotherapy alone in RTOG 9703, a phase II randomized trial of patients with advanced squamous cell carcinoma of the head and neck. The RTOG 9703 trial compared three treatment approaches using different chemotherapeutic agents, integration strategies, and timing sequences against the results of clinical studies involving radiotherapy alone.

Diagnostic Dilemma

February 01, 2002

A 65-year-old man with a history of a "bleeding ulcer" 7 years earlier presents with complaints of progressive dysphagia for solids and liquids over the past 4 months. The patient states that he has had a 40-pound weight loss during this time, but denies any fevers, chills, abdominal pain, melena, or anorexia. He states that recently he cannot go to his favorite restaurant, as whenever he eats he experiences severe coughing fits. He also describes regurgitation of undigested materials soon after eating.

Oral Fludarabine and Cyclophosphamide Could Be Compromise Solution for Previously Untreated CLL

February 01, 2002

LILLE, France-As front-line treatment for chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL), the combination of fludarabine (Fludara) and cyclophosphamide (Cytoxan, Neosar) administered orally "could be a good compromise with a good efficacy and an acceptable tolerance," reported Bruno Cazin, MD, of the Hôpital Claude Huriez in Lille, France, and his colleagues at the French Cooperative Group for CLL. An intermediate analysis of 59 of 76 patients that were enrolled in a multicenter phase II trial supports this claim, producing an overall response rate of 78% and mostly manageable toxicities.

ASCO Update: Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma

February 01, 2002

This and future reports are written by oncologists from Pacific Shores Medical Group (a large group practice in Long Beach, California). The reports are primarily based on notes taken at the American Society of Clinical Oncology

Rituximab Shows Promise in Treating ITP

February 01, 2002

ORLANDO, Florida-Rituximab (Rituxan) shows promise in the treatment of immune thrombocytopenic purpura (ITP), according to two poster presentations at the 43rd Annual Meeting of the American Society of Hematology (ASH). Nichola Cooper, MRCP, fellow, and James B. Bussel, MD, professor of pediatrics, both at Weill Medical College of Cornell University, and Mansoor N. Saleh, MD, professor of medicine at the University of Alabama at Birmingham, reported the results of separate studies investigating the efficacy and toxicity of rituximab in adults with refractory ITP. Rituximab binds to the antigen CD20 and depletes circulating B-lymphocyte cells. "In theory," Dr. Cooper said, "if you get rid of the B cells, it decreases the autoimmune response."

Monoclonal Antibodies Mimic Action of IVIG and Can Inhibit Immune Thrombocytopenia

February 01, 2002

TORONTO-Monoclonal antibodies directed against red blood cells can be used to inhibit immune forms of thrombocytopenia, according to the results of studies with mice. These results were reported by Alan H. Lazarus, PhD, assistant professor of medicine, Department of Hematology, St. Michael’s Hospital, University of Toronto.