Wilmot Researchers Study a Combination Treatment for Lymphoma

UR Center One of 14 in U.S. to Offer Novel Therapy to Combat Disease

August 05, 2003

"This combination shows promise in the few patients that have been treated with it already, with minimal side effects. We are anxious to offer this novel therapy to Rochester area patients."

Oncologists and people with lymphoma have been singing the praises of Rituxan to treat the disease.  In the last five years, Rituxan has become a standard treatment for people with lymphoma – cancer of the lymphatic system – and it destroys cancer cells without the debilitating side effects of traditional chemotherapy. 

Rituxan was the first monoclonal antibody, which is used to deliver toxins or radioactive material to destroys cancer cells, approved for cancer therapy.  It is prescribed alone, or in combination with chemotherapy, to treat lymphoma.

Researchers at the James P. Wilmot Cancer Center have joined a national effort to find a companion to Rituxan that could broaden its effectiveness in combating disease. They are combining Rituxan with another antibody, called IDEC-114, to treat people with relapsed follicular lymphoma.

“This combination shows promise in the few patients that have been treated with it already, with minimal side effects. We are anxious to offer this novel therapy to Rochester area patients,” says Jonathan Friedberg, M.D., of the Wilmot Cancer Center Lymphoma Program.  “This may be a significant two-pronged attack on lymphoma cells and may prove to be an answer for many of our patients.”

Preliminary research has shown this combination can prompt tremendous disease regression, and may work better than Rituxan alone.  The Wilmot Cancer Center is one of  14 sites in the United States offering this investigational combination therapy.

This is one of a series of research studies launched by the newly formed Lymphoma Program at the Wilmot Cancer Center.  In the past 18 months, three nationally recognized lymphoma specialists have joined the program and are leading clinical and basic-science research studies.

Leaders of the group include Friedberg, Richard I. Fisher, M.D., the Wilmot Cancer Center director, 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 information about this clinical study, or the lymphoma program, call (585) 273-4150.

For Media Inquiries:
Leslie White
(585) 273-1119
Email Leslie White