Wilmot Cancer Center Studies Investigational Drug for Lymphoma

International Clinical Trial Focuses on Mantle Cell Lymphoma

May 25, 2004

Researchers at the James P. Wilmot Cancer Center at the University of Rochester Medical Center area leading a large, international research study of the effectiveness of an investigational medication for people with relapsed mantle cell lymphoma, a rare and aggressive form of non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma.

Richard I. Fisher, director of the Wilmot Cancer Center, is conducting a Phase II study of Velcade, already approved to treat multiple myeloma, for people who have already been treated for mantle cell lymphoma with other chemotherapy regimens.  Velcade is a proteasome inhibitor designed to block the breakdown of some cellular proteins, including those that support mantle cell lymphomas

Mantle cell lymphoma accounts for approximately six percent of all lymphomas and   typically involves the lymph nodes, bone marrow and spleen.  Only 20 percent patients, who are commonly older men, survive more than five years following diagnosis. There have been few treatment advances for this disease in recent years.

The clinical trial with 152 patients is available at a number of sites in North America and U.K.  Response rates will be analyzed at two interim points to determine the effectiveness of this new medication. The Wilmot Cancer Center is the only Upstate New York location for this study and is leading enrollment. 

“Early patients on this study are showing positive responses.  Only time will tell whether this medication is effective,” says Fisher.  Millennium Pharmaceuticals Inc. produces Velcade and is funding this study. 

This is one of a series of clinical studies launched by the newly formed Lymphoma Program at the Wilmot Cancer Center, which recently added three recognized lymphoma specialists.

For more information about the clinical study, call (585) 273-4150.

##

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