Indexed on: 23 Mar '11Published on: 23 Mar '11Published in: Expert review of anticancer therapy
Monoclonal antibodies are commonly used in combination with chemotherapy when treating non-Hodgkin's lymphoma. Superior clinical benefits of chemotherapy-antibody combinations have been convincingly demonstrated in the setting of initial therapy in large randomized trials for many of the most common lymphoma subtypes. Clinicians have extrapolated from data in the initial treatment setting to justify chemotherapy-antibody combinations in the treatment of relapsed lymphoma. Many Phase II studies of chemotherapy-antibody combinations in relapsed lymphoma reviewed herein demonstrate clinical activity, and several randomized Phase III trials demonstrate superior clinical results when antibody is added to chemotherapy regimens in relapsed patients who have not previously been exposed to antibodies. Less clear is whether antibodies add to the clinical benefit of chemotherapy when patients have previously been exposed to antibodies, much less in the setting of patients who did not have a good result to a previous antibody-containing treatment plan.