New Treatments: New Hope for Lymphoma Patients
Future Looks Bright for Lymphoma Treatment
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What is your opinion on the new agents, such as the proteasome inhibitors like bortezomib, histone deacetylase inhibitors like vorinostat, novel BCL-2-targeted drugs, new T-cell-active agents like pralatrexate, new-generation thalidomide derivatives like lenalidomide, and novel monoclonal antibodies and vaccines?
These are all very exciting! We've already seen good activity of bortezomib (Velcade) and lenalidomide (Revlimid) in multiple types of lymphoma. Bortezomib, which blocks the activity of proteins important for tumor growth, is already approved for treatment of mantle cell lymphoma. Lenalidomide, a drug that acts on the immune system, is approved for multiple myeloma but still under study for lymphoma.
Drugs that target BCL-2, a gene involved in follicular and other types of lymphoma, are being studied in ongoing clinical trials in non-Hodgkin's lymphoma and chronic lymphocytic leukemia. This is also known as anti-sense therapy.
Pralatrexate, which mimics the B-complex vitamin folate, is an exciting new drug with good activity in early studies, particularly in T-cell lymphomas that have recurred after standard chemotherapy.
Given the enormous success of the monoclonal antibody rituximab (Rituxan), other drugs in this same class – those that target new proteins as well as those that use new technology to make other drugs possibly work better - are extremely interesting.
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