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Improving lymphoma outcomes with personal touch

A recent review of the latest medical advances for people with Hodgkin lymphoma has highlighted how personalised treatment is improving outcomes for patients.

Professor Maher Gandhi, the Leukaemia Foundation Chair in Blood Cancer Research at The University of Queensland’s Diamantina Institute, said the new approaches were aimed at “minimising toxicity while maximising response”.

Maher Gandhi
Professor Maher Gandhi

He said while the majority of patients with Hodgkin lymphoma responded well to current treatments, a significant minority relapsed and were harder to treat.

“Novel targeted therapies are producing excellent results in clinical trials,” Professor Gandhi said.

“Not only do they provide additional treatment options for those with relapsed disease, they may also have potential in front-line therapy.”

The review highlighted the effectiveness of antibody brentuximab vedotin, which has been tested as both a single drug and in combination with other drugs among relapsed patients and those resistant to treatment.

The authors, who also included Professor Mark Hertzberg and Dr Suzanne Arulogun, also said Nivolumab and Pembrolizumab, currently used to treat other cancers, had shown outstanding results when used as single agents in heavily pre-treated Hodgkin lymphoma patients.

Professor Gandhi said individualising and adapting a patient’s treatment based on an interim PET/CT scan was also emerging as an important strategy.

“Further work is needed to explore clinical and biological factors associated with improved outcomes,” he said.

The review was published in the Australian and New Zealand Journal of Medicine.

Last updated on August 5th, 2020

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