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Combining antibodies to eliminate NHL

A Stanford University School of Medicine team has found a way to boost the efficacy of blockbuster non-Hodgkin's lymphoma drug Rituxan rituximab

by combining the anti-CD20 antibody with mAbs against CD47.1 The group thinks the combination could elicit fewer side effects than Rituxan plus chemotherapy, which is standard care for the blood cancer.

Rituxan is a chimeric antibody marketed by Biogen Idec Inc. and the Genentech Inc. unit of Roche to treat non-Hodgkin's lymphoma (NHL), chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL), rheumatoid arthritis (RA) and multiple sclerosis (MS). In cancer, the antibody induces cell death via apoptosis and antibody-dependent cellular cytotoxicity (ADCC), which helps promote phagocytosis.2

Rituxan alone is not curative for most B cell lymphomas, and some cancers have developed resistance to the antibody, which has led to adoption of a first-line therapy combining it with chemotherapy.3

In hopes of taking chemo out of the equation, Irving

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