Anne sent a link to an article in the Norwegian pubication Best Practices in Oncology/Hematology called "New Type of Radioimmunotherapy by Indolent Non-Hodgkin B-cell Lymphomas - Phase I / II Trial Showing Promising Results."
The link will take you to the Norwegian site. Google Translate can help you from there if you don't read Norwegian (it helped me).
The article is written by one of the researchers who has been working on Betalutin in Oslo University Hospital. It is different from other RadioImmunoTherapies Bexxar and Zevalin because they target CD20, the same protein on the surface of B cells that Rituxan targets. Betalutin goes after CD37. This is important -- when RIT attaches to CD20, it remains on the surface of the cell. But when it attaches to CD37, it actually goes inside the cell, where it can remain longer to do its job. The hope is that Betalutin will be even more effective than the other RITs.
First results of the study were actually presented at ASH a few months ago, but the article that Anne sent actually has updated results with a few more Follicular Lymphoma patients being discussed. It's still a small sample (38 patients, 27 with FL), and more hospitals in Europe are participating in the study now. Results are good so far -- 68% Overall Response Rate, with 38% getting a Complete Response.
A few things worth mentioning here:
- RIT is a great thing. Betalutin might even be an improvement over other types. It would be great if we could make it more available in the U.S.
- I really like when you all send me stuff that I missed. Feel free to keep doing that, either by email or in comments. There's so much out there on Follicular Lymphoma. I do miss some of it, and that's a good thing -- it just means there's more good news than I can keep up with. We should all be hopeful about that.
- Finally, I love hearing from readers outside the U.S. I know I report a lot of stuff that's really specific to the United States, because that's what I hear about easiest. But it's great to get news like this from Anne. It's a great reminder that, even though we have some differences, we all have so much in common. We'd all be better off if we remembered that more often.