In what can be called breakthrough in the both stem cell and cancer study, the Cell Therapeutics, Inc today announced successful result of a innovative study that investigated high (bone marrow ablative) dose Zevalin(R) ([90Y]-ibritumomab tiuxetan) followed by autologous stem cell infusions among 30 patients.

All these patients were with relapsed/refractory or high risk aggressive non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma (NHL) not eligible for a chemotherapy-based transplant. In this study, three cycles of conventional chemotherapy were given followed by high dose chemotherapy with a stem cell rescue and then followed by up to three times the standard dose of Zevalin with an additional stem cell rescue. This treatment regimen resulted in 83 percent of patients achieving a disease free state with a projected overall survival of 87 percent after a median follow up of 30 months.

About Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma
Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma (NHL) is caused by the abnormal proliferation of white blood cells and normally spreads through the lymphatic system, a system of vessels that drains fluid from the body. NHL can be broadly classified into two main forms — aggressive NHL, a rapidly spreading acute form of the disease, and indolent NHL, which progresses more slowly. According to the National Cancer Institute’s SEER database there were nearly 400,000 people in the U.S. with NHL in 2004. The American Cancer Society estimates that 66,120 people will be diagnosed with NHL in 2008 and more than 19,000 are expected to die.

Source: MarketWatch