Natural killer cells and antibody-based immune function

A new drug may boost the effectiveness of a widely used treatment for patients with non-Hodgkin lymphoma (NHL), while simultaneously overcoming drug resistance in those patients.

That conclusion is based on a study conducted by scientists from the laboratory of Myron Czuczman, MD, Department of Medicine, Roswell Park Cancer Institute (RPCI).

Their research will be presented at the 97th Annual Meeting of the American Association for Cancer Research, April 1-5, in the Washington Convention Center, Washington, DC.

Most B-cell NHL patients treated with the monoclonal antibody, rituximab, eventually relapse with resistant disease. In this study, researchers investigated the effectiveness of lenalidomide (Revlimid), a thalidomide derivative, in both enhancing the efficacy of rituximab and overcoming rituxamib resistance.

Data from experiments in rituximab-resistant cell lines suggest that lenalidomide, with or without interleukin-2, improves the antitumor activity of rituximab and that this finding may be responsible for partially overcoming rituximab resistance. Future research will be focused on defining the specific cellular changes responsible for the improved efficacy of rituximab following lenalidomide exposure.

Founded in 1907, the American Association for Cancer Research is the world's oldest and largest professional organization dedicated to advancing cancer research. Members include more than 24,000 basic, translational and clinical researchers, health care professionals, and cancer survivors and advocates in the United States and in more than 60 other countries.

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