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Andrew D. Zelenetz, MD, PhD, from the Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, explains the impact that rituximab has made in the treatment of patients with non-Hodgkin and B-cell lymphomas.
Andrew D. Zelenetz, MD, PhD, Vice Chair, Medical Informatics, Department of Medicine; Chief, Lymphoma Service, Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, explains the impact that rituximab (Rituxan) has made in the treatment of patients with non-Hodgkin and B-cell lymphomas.
As more is known about the mutations involved in cancer, research will gradually begin to shift more toward exploring targeted therapies. Despite the push toward newer therapies, older agents have made major improvements in outcomes for patients, Zelenetz highlights.
As an example, Zelenetz notes that targeted therapies have been used in non-Hodgkin and B-cell lymphomas since rituximab (Rituxan) was first approved. Rituximab, a CD20-directed monoclonal antibody, has made a huge impact in the treatment of lymphoma and has saved more lives than any other targeted therapy, Zelenetz believes. Overall, this agent has greatly changed outcomes for patients with B-cell and non-Hodgkin lymphoma.
In general the success of rituximab has served as an important proof of concept by demonstrating the superior results that can be generated by directly targeting the tumor.