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SAB Members' Trial Shows Promise In Treating B-Cell Lymphoma Patients Without Radiation

A trial conducted by researchers at the National Cancer Institute (NCI), including two members of LRF's Scientific Advisory Board, may point the way towards treating mediastinal B-cell lymphoma patients without radiation. The results of the study, "Dose-adjusted EPOCH-rituximab therapy in primary mediastinal B-cell lymphoma," were published in The New England Journal of Medicine on April 11, 2013. LRF Scientific Board members Wyndham Wilson, M.D., Ph.D., and Kieron Dunleavy, M.D., served as principal investigator and first author on the study, respectively.

Standard treatment approaches for mediastinal B-cell lymphoma, which primarily affects the mediastinum, an area of the thorax, have included radiation to the chest area. As the majority of patients are afflicted in their teens to early 30s, even a successful course of radiation therapy puts them at increasing risk of new cancers and heart disease as they age. Women, who make up a disproportionate number of patients with this type of lymphoma, are also at increased risk for breast cancer. The trial treated patients with a drug regimen known as dose-adjusted EPOCH-R (etoposide, doxorubicin, cyclophosphamdie, vincristine, prednisone, and rituximab) without radiation. Of the 51 patients in the study, all but two achieved a complete remission with the DA-EPOCH-R therapy alone, with no evidence of other diseases or toxic cardiac effects developing after remission.

Further details on this trial may be found on the NCI's website at http://www.cancer.gov/newscenter/newsfromnci/2013/DA-EPOCHlymphoma

May 2013