Immunotherapy More Effective in Treating Aggressive Lymphoma than Chemotherapy

Dr. Adrienne Phillips

Dr. Adrienne Phillips

According to findings from a recent clinical trial, people with relapsed or refractory adult T-cell leukemia-lymphoma (ATLL) may have a promising new treatment option. This new option is mogamulizumab, an immunotherapy that augments the immune system in its fight against this aggressive form of lymphoma. The lead author of the study is Dr. Adrienne Phillips, an assistant professor of medicine and a member of the Sandra and Edward Meyer Cancer Center at Weill Cornell Medicine and an oncologist with the Bone Marrow and Stem Cell Transplant Program at NewYork-Presbyterian/Weill Cornell Medical Center.

The findings of a small clinical trial demonstrate that the antibody drug mogamulizumab, known as moga, induces tumor responses in nearly 28 percent of patients with a fast-growing and difficult to treat blood cancer called relapsed or refractory adult T-cell leukemia-lymphoma (ATLL). These response rates appeared better than the standard chemotherapy comparison results in this study. The investigators say moga may represent a breakthrough in treating ATLL, for which there are currently no drugs approved in the United States to specifically treat the disease. Mogalizumab binds to CCR4 proteins on tumor cells, allowing the immune system to better target them.

“In order to treat an aggressive cancer such as ATLL, you have to think outside the box,” said Dr. Adrienne Phillips…”By working with international collaborators to conduct the largest randomized trial ever in relapsed or refractory forms of this devastating cancer, we have been able to demonstrate the benefits of an innovative, immune based treatment approach and have taken a large step forward in efforts to make this treatment option available for ATLL patients here.”

Dr. Phillip’s findings were presented during the annual meeting of the American Society for Clinical Oncology (ASCO) on June 5th in Chicago. You can read more about her finding’s here.



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