University of Rochester Opens Research Study For Advanced Lymphoma

Wilmot Cancer Center One Of 5 Sites In U.S. Offering Novel Treatment

January 03, 2003

People with non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma endure repeated chemotherapy treatments, bone marrow transplants and radiation therapy to manage and destroy their disease. Over time, when the cancer recurs, many of them can not withstand the toxicity of chemotherapy again or the disease does not respond to standard therapy.

The James P. Wilmot Cancer Center is one of five sites in the nation participating in a national study that may offer another treatment option for these patients. Clinicians are studying the use of gallium nitrate to destroy tumors. Gallium nitrate is the standard medication for hypercalcemia -- elevated calcium levels in some cancer patients’ blood levels.

“This could be an option for patients who have none,” says Jonathan Friedberg, M.D., assistant professor of hematology/oncology. “If this treatment proves successful, it could be used to treat lymphoma at earlier stages.”

The Phase II study, funded by Genta Inc., will involve 50 patients from around the country, including about 10 in the Rochester area. This is one of a series of clinical studies launched by the newly formed Lymphoma Program at the Wilmot Cancer Center.

In the past year, three nationally recognized lymphoma specialists have joined the program and are leading clinical and basic-science research into novel therapies. Leaders of the group include Friedberg, Richard I. Fisher, M.D., director of the Wilmot Cancer Center, Steven Bernstein, M.D., Fay Young, M.D., and Gordon L. Phillips II, M.D., director of the Blood and Marrow Transplant and Leukemia Program. For more information about the clinical study, call (585) 275-5345. ##.

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