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Breakthroughs in Lymphoma and Other Blood Cancers

Topics include: Treatment
Published on December 17, 2006

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Although there are 70,000 new cases of lymphoma diagnosed every year, new treatments are allowing patients to live long, productive lives. Learn about the new drugs and research in the area from Dr. Andrew Evens, a hematologist/oncologist and assistant professor in hematology/oncology at the Robert H. Lurie Comprehensive Cancer Center of Northwestern University. Host Andrew Schorr, a leukemia survivor himself, also provides insight into how blood cancer research is doing wonders for patients.

Dr. Evens, a lymphoma expert, brings back the latest findings from the American Society of Hematology, or ASH, meeting in Orlando. ASH is the annual world-wide meeting where doctors from around the world come together to share research ideas. Andrew and Dr. Evens discuss successes that came from past conferences, as well as the new and exciting drugs becoming available now.

Andrew and Dr. Evens explain the significance of targeted therapies, combination therapies, and clinical trials. Traditional chemotherapy treatment kills not only bad cells but good ones, targeted therapies attack the cancer cells more directly, causing fewer side effects than chemo. This “cruise-missile” type of drug is, according to Dr. Evens, one of the most promising advancements in modern cancer research. Andrew describes the different drugs associated with leukemia treatment, specifically rituximab, which is a targeted treatment for lymphomas as well. They describe how doctors are combining different treatments to give their patients the best chance at remission, and how they test new combinations in clinical trials.

Some types of lymphomas are more aggressive than others, but the median survival rate for lymphomas continues to grow. Even if they aren’t yet curable, many lymphomas are quite treatable. Patients can go into remission for long periods of time, or many may simply go in for more treatments when the cancer returns, making the illness more chronic than fatal. Given this new environment, Dr. Evens talks about the importance of setting goals and understanding what your options are. Listen to this webcast to learn why leaders in the lymphoma research community are encouraged by what they are finding.

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  • Leukemia
  • Lymphoma

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