New radioimmunotherapy improves lymphoma treatment

By staff writers

October 9, 2020 -- Researchers have found that a new radioimmunotherapy can reverse resistance to a common lymphoma drug, rituximab. Their findings were published in the October issue of the Journal of Nuclear Medicine.

Many non-Hodgkin's lymphoma patients develop resistance against rituximab, a phenomenon caused by changes in expression of the CD20 antigen, noted a team led by PhD candidate Marion Malenge of Nordic Nanovector ASA in Oslo, Norway. The group investigated whether the radioimmunotherapy agent lutetium-177 (Lu-177) lilotomab-satetraxetan could reverse this resistance by stimulating CD20 expression.

The team found that Lu-177 lilotomab-satetraxetan in fact was successful in stimulating CD20 antigen expression and therefore prevented tumor growth in a non-Hodgkin's lymphoma animal study (Journal of Nuclear Medicine, October 1, 2020, Volume 61:10, pp. 1468-1475).

"This work is potentially very important, as it could be a last way out for patients that have become resistant to rituximab. If those patients receive an injection of [Lu-177 lilotomab-satetraxetan], they can be treated again with rituximab and have an improved effect," said senior author Jostein Dahle, PhD, in a statement released about the study by the Society of Nuclear Medicine and Molecular Imaging (SNMMI).

Copyright © 2020

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