I need to get back to my blog. Shoulder sling or not, I've got to get on with my life. As I said, you know things are going great when you can distract yourself by writing about cancer....
I'll probably do a little less commentary than I'd like, but that will give me something to build up to.
This news is almost a couple of weeks old now, but it's exciting. Researchers at the University of Manchester in England are looking into RadioImmunoTherapy as a front-line treatment for Follicular Lymphoma. Zevalin has been approved as for use in FL after a first treatment has stopped working, and as a way to extend a successful first treatment. This study is showing that we can skip the Rituxan or CHOP and just get right to the RIT.
The study was published in the Journal of Clinical Oncology (I still haven't had a chance to read the full article). What makes this approach special is that the researchers gave the RIT in two smaller doses, rather than one big one. This seemed to have allowed it to better penetrate larger tumors (the patients in the study had bulky disease, or larger tumors), and also seemed to cut down on side effects.
And it worked well: 94.4% of the 72 patients had a response, and 69.4% had a Complete Response. Those are some dang good numbers.
Are they good enough? I hope so, but it will still be a struggle to get people to recognize just how great RIT is. Bexxar is gone, and one of the hurdles that Zevalin faces is the difficulty that comes with administering it. (It can't be done in an oncologist's office, but rather needs a team of nuclear medicine specialists to do it.) Hard enough to get it all done once; will it be even harder to accept if all that effort has to be made twice? At the very least, it won't make it any easier.
Sorry for the negative slant on this. I guess the positive look on it is that it gives us one more way of considering how to use RIT effectively.
I'll try to write something sunnier next time. Or not wait until the Percocet is almost worn off....