New treatment approach promising for lymphoma patients in the developing world

July 6, 2008

Preliminary results suggest that patients with aggressive non-Hodgkin's lymphoma in the developing world might benefit from a modified chemotherapy regimen, researchers say.

At the ESMO Conference Lugano (ECLU) organized by the European Society for Medical Oncology, a group headed by Prof. Hamdy Azim from Cairo University reports that giving these patients chemotherapy every 2 weeks, rather than every 3 weeks as usual, improved treatment outcomes.

The standard regimen in this case is called CHOP (chemotherapy regime), which is given every 3 weeks. In the developed world, CHOP is administered in combination with an antibody therapy called rituximab.

But many patients in developing countries, including Egypt where this study was conducted, cannot afford this treatment, so they are offered CHOP alone.

"We hypothesized that if CHOP or a CHOP-like regimen was given every two weeks instead of three, a superior outcome could be achieved," says Dr. Hatem A. Azim Jr, who presented these results at ECLU.

To see if this was the case, they analyzed five trials that compared CHOP to regimens given every two weeks. Using two statistical analyses, they showed that regimens every two weeks had superior response rate, disease-free and overall survival; however in one method, the response rate analysis did not reach statistical significance.

"We believe that this work could provide good evidence to support the use of the 2-weekly regimen," Dr. Azim Jr said. One issue that remains to be assessed is how well patients tolerate the more intense treatment, he noted.

"Patients on the 2-weekly regimens have to receive injections with 'growth factors' to ensure that severe toxicities to the white blood cells do not occur," he said. "Even so, the cost of these injections per cycle is much lower than that of rituximab. The preliminary results are encouraging in providing patients who cannot afford the cost of rituximab, a better alternative than CHOP."

Source: European Society for Medical Oncology

Explore further: 3D printers get Ugandan amputees back on their feet

Related Stories

Homeopathy prospers even as controversy rages

March 11, 2011

A popular homeopathic flu remedy boasts that it comes with no side effects, no drug interactions and won't make you drowsy. But the product also lacks something most people expect to find in their medicine: active ingredients.

Translating Chinese medicine for the West

October 11, 2010

In a traditional Chinese medicine store in central Beijing, part of the Tongrentang chain founded 342 years ago, three white-coated workers follow traditions that stretch even further back in time. They sort and chop an exotic ...

Being a control freak aids dividing cells

July 28, 2008

Micromanagers may generate resentment in an office setting, but they get results in your body. New data indicate that a dividing cell takes micromanagement to the extreme, tagging more than 14,000 different sites on its proteins ...

Recommended for you

The dark side of Nobel prizewinning research

October 4, 2015

Think of the Nobel prizes and you think of groundbreaking research bettering mankind, but the awards have also honoured some quite unhumanitarian inventions such as chemical weapons, DDT and lobotomies.

Internet giants race to faster mobile news apps

October 4, 2015

US tech giants are turning to the news in their competition for mobile users, developing new, faster ways to deliver content, but the benefits for struggling media outlets remain unclear.

Trade in invasive plants is blossoming

October 3, 2015

Every day, hundreds of different plant species—many of them listed as invasive—are traded online worldwide on auction platforms. This exacerbates the problem of uncontrollable biological invasions.

Fusion reactors 'economically viable' say experts

October 2, 2015

Fusion reactors could become an economically viable means of generating electricity within a few decades, and policy makers should start planning to build them as a replacement for conventional nuclear power stations, according ...


Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.