UAB: Hodgkin’s Lymphoma drug shows promise

BIRMINGHAM, AL (WBRC) – Researchers at UAB feel they are making progress against Hodgkin's lymphoma after an experimental drug showed beneficial effects in stopping tumor growth with only moderate side-effects.

The new drug, brentuximab vedotin(SGN-35), was tested to find the maximum tolerated dose without adverse side effects in the Phase 1 trial.  Out of 45 patients in the study, 17 reported positive responses to the medicine. 11 of the positive responses were complete remissions.

UAB says this is quite a breakthrough because 30% of Hodgkin's patients do not respond to conventional therapy.  The patients using the new drug showed tumor regression in 36 out of the 42 patients and the duration of the effects lasted more than 9 months.

"There is a large percentage of patients with Hodgkin's lymphoma or anaplastic large-cell lymphoma who do not respond well to traditional therapies such as chemotherapy or autologous stem-cell transplantation," said Forero-Torres. "SNG-35 appears to be satisfactorily tolerated at 1.8 mg and may offer promise to those patients for whom other therapies have proven to be unsuccessful."

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