Experimental Immunotherapy Drug Shows Promise for Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma

In Clinical Studies News by Barbara Jacoby

From: everydayhealth.com

What’s New A small, early-phase clinical trial testing a new drug combination produced impressive outcomes for patients with relapsed or refractory non-Hodgkin lymphoma, according to a report published November 1, 2018, in the New England Journal of Medicine.

Researchers at multiple institutions tested an experimental drug known as 5F9 with the standard cancer drug Rituxan (rituximab) in 22 people. Eleven of the patients had a positive response and 8 of them went into complete remission. Prior to the study, all of the patients had failed to respond to, or had relapsed on at least two therapies.

Why It Matters The experimental drug, 5F9, is an immunotherapy “checkpoint inhibitor” that appears to help stimulate the immune system to attack cancer. In the past, checkpoint inhibitors have not worked well for non-Hodgkin lymphoma. The trial will need to be confirmed and expanded.