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Wednesday 27 December 2006

MabThera(REG) Helps Patients With Lymphoma Stay Symptom Free And Live Longer

By: Medical News Today

A study published recently in Blood, the journal of the American Society of Hematology, has confirmed that patients who receive MabThera as maintenance therapy for lymphoma experience significantly longer remission and overall survival.

The German Low Grade Lymphoma Study Group (GLSG) trial, carried out in relapsed patients with one of two major types of lymphoma, follicular or mantle cell, compared the outcomes of patients treated with MabThera maintenance therapy versus observation, irrespective of their initial treatment at relapse. The final results of the study showed that 77% of patients who received MabThera maintenance therapy were alive after 3 years, compared to only 57% who were not receiving additional courses of MabThera. These impressive results confirm similar outcomes seen in other recent trials showing that MabThera maintenance therapy prolongs patients’ lives.

Furthermore, patients receiving MabThera maintenance therapy dramatically increased their time in remission. At the end of the study, median symptom free survival for MabThera maintenance patients had still not been determined as the patients were still in remission. Once determined, this prolonged period of remission will be compared to the remission of only 16 months seen in the observation patients. These latest data reinforce the importance of MabThera maintenance therapy in the treatment of lymphoma.

Martin Dreyling, M.D., lead investigator for the GLSG study, commented: “By demonstrating a significant extension of progression free survival in relapsed patients and trending towards an overall survival benefit, these results clearly indicate MabThera maintenance therapy should become a new standard of care for patients with relapsed indolent lymphoma.”

Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma affects 1 million people worldwide. About 45% of NHL patients have the form of the disease, which while slow to progress, has no cure. NHL has grown in incidence by 80% since the early 1970s.

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