Monoclonal Antibodies in Hematologic Malignancies: Clinical Status

March 1, 2001

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

The 42nd Annual Meeting of the American Society ofHematology (ASH), held December 1-5, 2000, in San Francisco, featured a recordnumber of abstracts focusing on the revolutionary clinical applications ofmonoclonal antibodies to a wide variety of hematologic malignancies. Thissupplement to ONCOLOGY highlights 30 of the more than 500 abstracts onrecent dramatic advances in monoclonal antibody therapy presented at the ASHmeeting.

Some of the abstracts selected for this supplement update thetherapeutic experience with the unconjugated antibody rituximab (Rituxan) inB-cell non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. Other studies explore rituximab’s expandingtherapeutic indications for other lymphoid malignancies, review the role ofCAMPATH-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 theyttrium-labeled anti-CD20 antibody ibritumomab tiuxetan (Zevalin).

In order to place these new studies into perspective, we askedBruce D. Cheson, MD, Head of the Medicine Section, National Cancer Institute, towrite a series of commentaries. A recognized authority on the lymphomas andleukemias, Dr. Cheson offers his views on how the results of these studiesimpact the hematologist-oncologist confronting the new challenges in choosingfrom the large and continuously growing therapeutic paradigms of monoclonalantibodies.