According to recent reports, a lymphoma treatment was recently developed by Biogen Idec that is showing promise of being effective in those who are suffering from leukemia. The combination therapy has been tested in late-stage human clinical trials and researchers are hopeful that this could be the breakthrough they’ve been waiting for.
The treatment involves Rituxan, a drug that was first approved by the FDA in 1997, combined with two chemotherapy medications. Testing showed that this combination therapy was much more effective in patients than chemotherapy alone.
Causes of Leukemia
Leukemia is an illness that afflicts thousands of people yearly in America and is a cancer of the blood or bone marrow. This form of cancer is typically caused by an irregular production of blood cells in the body.
Although leukemia can inflict children at a young age whose red and white blood cells reproduce sporadically, the illness is commonly caused by exposure to benzene as well. Benzene is a toxic chemical that can be found in gasoline, certain rubbers, and dyes.
Rituxan was originally approved as a treatment for non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma until it was realized that the medication could be useful as a treatment for lymphoma. The medication has also been approved to treat those living with rheumatoid arthritis.
Biogen Idec is based out of Cambridge, Massachusetts and is partnering with California-based Genetech to begin marketing the drug.