Printer Friendly

Corixa & GSK Announce BEXXAR Following Chemotherapy Produced a High Rate of Response as First-Line Treatment in Patients with Follicular Non-Hodgkin's Lymphoma.

Business Editors/Health/Medical Writers


A novel therapeutic approach of BEXXAR(R) (Tositumomab and Iodine I 131 Tositumomab) following chemotherapy has been shown to produce a high rate of response in patients with advanced follicular non-Hodgkin's lymphoma (NHL), according to the results of a study published in the September 1, 2003 issue of Blood, the Journal of the American Society of Hematology. The Phase II clinical study assessed a two-part treatment consisting of CHOP chemotherapy (a combination-chemotherapy regimen) followed by the BEXXAR therapeutic regimen. This is the first fully published study of a combination treatment involving chemotherapy and radioimmunotherapy in the first-line treatment of follicular NHL. The treatment produced an overall response rate of 90 percent and a two-year overall survival rate of 97 percent.(1)

"The survival rates demonstrated in this study, and the significant time during which the disease did not progress, are impressive," said Southwest Oncology Group (SWOG) investigator and lead author Oliver W. Press, MD, member, Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center and professor of medicine at the University of Washington. "These clinical results are very positive compared to historical SWOG investigations of CHOP alone for follicular lymphoma."

SWOG is one of the largest cooperative groups funded by the National Cancer Institute (NCI) and has been conducting cancer clinical trials for the past 45 years. Its focus is on the treatment and prevention of adult cancers.

The study was conducted at 34 SWOG sites in the United States, many of them community-based hospitals. It was designed for sequential treatments of CHOP followed by BEXXAR due to concerns over potential bone marrow suppression if the two were given concurrently. BEXXAR was the radioimmunotherapy chosen for this study based on the substantial follow-up data available for BEXXAR and on the radioactive characteristics of BEXXAR for treating this type of cancer.

The study enrolled 90 eligible patients with previously untreated, advanced-stage disease. The combination of CHOP/BEXXAR produced an overall response rate of 90 percent, including a complete response rate (complete elimination of signs and symptoms of lymphoma) of 67 percent. The estimated 2-year progression-free survival and overall survival were 81 percent and 97 percent, respectively. Importantly, therapy with BEXXAR improved the overall best-response rate compared to CHOP alone. Among 47 patients who achieved less than a complete response following CHOP and for whom data were available on response after each stage of the regimen, 27 patients, or 57 percent, improved their remission status after receiving BEXXAR.

The treatment was well tolerated in the majority of patients. Ninety-six percent of eligible patients completed CHOP therapy as planned and 90 percent of eligible patients who completed CHOP also completed BEXXAR therapy. The main side effect was a suppression of blood cell production by the bone marrow, which can lead to the possibility of infections or bleeding and the need for blood transfusions. The bone marrow suppression was more pronounced during CHOP therapy than during administration of BEXXAR. After CHOP, 45 patients (52 percent) had Grade 3 or 4 neutropenia, one patient (1 percent) had Grade 3 thrombocytopenia, and three (3 percent) had Grade 3 anemia. After BEXXAR, 13 patients (16 percent) had Grade 3 or 4 neutropenia, 11 patients (13 percent) had Grade 3 or 4 thrombocytopenia, and two (2 percent) had Grade 4 anemia. Five patients developed Grade 3 or 4 cardiovascular toxicity after CHOP and one patient experienced a Grade 4 anaphylactoid reaction to the administration of BEXXAR. One case of myelodysplasia (MDS, a pre-leukemia condition) was reported 16 months after therapy and seven percent of patients received thyroid replacement therapy although none of the patients experienced symptomatic hypothyroidism.

"Although long-term follow up will be necessary to fully measure any potential impact from this treatment on the bone marrow in terms of cell damage or carcinogenic changes, our first impressions from the study results are that this regimen was generally well tolerated," said Dr. Press. "Most toxicities occurred during the CHOP segment of treatment and were reversible. Overall, we were pleased to observe manageable levels of toxicity, especially hematological toxicity, with this novel therapeutic approach of BEXXAR following CHOP."

The study protocol consisted of administering CHOP chemotherapy on 21-day intervals for six cycles. Patients were eligible for BEXXAR administration if their follicular non-Hodgkin's lymphoma showed at least a partial response four weeks to eight weeks after the completion of CHOP therapy, their blood cell counts were adequate, and the lymphoma occupied no more than 25 percent of the bone marrow. BEXXAR was given in a single, short course of treatment, individualized for each patient, consisting of two steps performed in four visits over seven days to 14 days. In the study, the regimen was administered in both academic and community-based hospital treatment settings.

Based on the encouraging results of this Phase II study, SWOG is currently conducting a Phase III randomized clinical study (S0016) comparing CHOP plus BEXXAR to CHOP plus the monoclonal antibody Rituximab in patients with advanced follicular NHL. S0016 is open to patients who are previously untreated for follicular NHL that expresses the CD20 antigen. For more information on this clinical study and study entry criteria, please call the SWOG Operations Office at 210-677-8808 or visit the NCI website at or the SWOG website at

About the BEXXAR Therapeutic Regimen

BEXXAR(R) (Tositumomab and Iodine I 131 Tositumomab) is approved for the treatment of patients with CD20 positive, follicular, non-Hodgkin's lymphoma (NHL), with and without transformation, whose disease is refractory to Rituximab and has relapsed following chemotherapy. The BEXXAR therapeutic regimen is not indicated for the initial treatment of patients with CD20 positive NHL. The BEXXAR therapeutic regimen is intended as a single course of treatment. The safety of multiple courses of the BEXXAR therapeutic regimen, or combination of this regimen with other forms of irradiation or chemotherapy, has not been evaluated. BEXXAR is co-marketed in the United States by Corixa Corporation (Nasdaq:CRXA) and GlaxoSmithKline (NYSE:GSK).

The principal dose limiting toxicity of BEXXAR in clinical trials was bone marrow suppression that could be prolonged and severe and required supportive care in approximately a quarter of the patients. Some patients also experienced weakness, nausea, fever, infection and cough, which were mild to moderate in severity. The BEXXAR therapeutic regimen was associated with a risk of hypothyroidism and human anti-murine antibody (HAMA) formation. Certain chemotherapy agents and ionizing radiation have been associated with the development of myelodysplasia (MDS), secondary leukemia and solid tumors. MDS, secondary leukemia and solid tumors have also been observed in patients receiving the BEXXAR therapeutic regimen. BEXXAR carries a warning about infusion-related reactions that may be induced by the administration of foreign proteins. Patients who are pregnant should not be treated with BEXXAR.

Please consult the complete Prescribing Information for more information on BEXXAR.

Healthcare professionals and people with non-Hodgkin's lymphoma may obtain more information about the BEXXAR therapeutic regimen by calling 1-877-4BEXXAR or visiting

About Non-Hodgkin's Lymphoma

NHL is a form of cancer that affects the blood, bone marrow and lymphatic tissues. Non-Hodgkin's lymphoma currently is the sixth-leading cause of cancer-related deaths in the United States, is expected to claim the lives of 23,400 Americans this year, and has the second-fastest growing mortality rate. According to statistics from the National Cancer Institute (NCI), approximately 300,000 people are afflicted with NHL in the United States alone. Of that total, 25 percent to 40 percent have follicular NHL, making it the second most common type. Transformed NHL is an aggressive and difficult to treat form of follicular NHL with a particularly poor prognosis.

About Corixa

Corixa is a developer of immunotherapeutics with a commitment to treating and preventing autoimmune diseases, cancer and infectious diseases by understanding and directing the immune system. Corixa is focused on immunotherapeutic products and has a broad technology platform enabling both fully integrated vaccine design and the use of its separate, proprietary product components on a standalone basis. Corixa currently has multiple programs in clinical development, including several product candidates that have advanced to and through late stage clinical trials.

The company partners with numerous developers and marketers of pharmaceuticals, targeting products that are Powered by Corixa(TM) technology with the goal of making its potential products available to patients around the world. Corixa was founded in 1994 and is headquartered in Seattle, with additional operations in Hamilton, Mont., and South San Francisco. For more information, please visit Corixa's Web site at

About GlaxoSmithKline

GlaxoSmithKline (NYSE:GSK) is one of the world's leading research-based pharmaceutical and healthcare companies. GlaxoSmithKline is committed to improving the quality of human life by enabling cancer patients to do more, feel better and live longer. For more information, visit

Corixa Forward-Looking Statements

This press release contains forward-looking statements, including statements regarding the prospects for treatment with our product, BEXXAR. Forward-looking statements are based on the opinions and estimates of management at the time the statements are made. They are subject to certain risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially from any future results, performance or achievements expressed or implied by such statements. Factors that could affect Corixa's actual results include, but are not limited to, the "Factors Affecting Our Operating Results, Our Business and Our Stock Price," described in our Quarterly Report on Form 10-Q for the quarter ended June 30, 2003, copies of which are available from our investor relations department. Readers are cautioned not to place undue reliance on these forward-looking statements, which speak only as of the date of this release.

GlaxoSmithKline Forward-Looking Statements

Under the safe harbor provisions of the U.S. Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995, the Company cautions investors that any forward-looking statements or projections made by the Company, including those made in this Announcement, are subject to risks and uncertainties that may cause actual results to differ materially from those projected. Factors that may affect the Group's operations are described under Risk Factors in the Operating and Financial Review and Prospects in the Company's Annual Report on Form 20-F for 2002, filed with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.

(1) OW Press, JM Unger, RM Braziel, DG Maloney, TP Miller, M LeBlanc, ER Gaynor, SE Rivkin, RI Fisher. A phase II trial of CHOP chemotherapy followed by Tositumomab/Iodine I-131 Tositumomab for previously untreated follicular non-Hodgkin's lymphoma: Southwest Oncology Group protocol S9911. Blood. 2003 Sep 1:102(5):1606-12.
COPYRIGHT 2003 Business Wire
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 2003, Gale Group. All rights reserved. Gale Group is a Thomson Corporation Company.

Article Details
Printer friendly Cite/link Email Feedback
Publication:Business Wire
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Sep 22, 2003
Previous Article:Macromedia Announces MAX 2003 Conference; User Conference Features MAX Customer Awards Plus High-Quality Training and Deep Technical Information.
Next Article:Tellium and Zhone Set Record Date for Stockholders Entitled to Vote on the Merger.

Related Articles
Lymphoma: An update on evolving trends in staging and management.
Corixa and GlaxoSmithKline Announce Analysis of Long-Term Response Population from Bexxar Clinical Trials Presented At ASCO.
Corixa and GlaxoSmithKline Announce Commercial Availability of BEXXAR Therapeutic Regimen.
Corixa Announces Health Canada's Acceptance of BEXXAR Submission for Priority Review.
Corixa and GlaxoSmithKline Announce Assignment of Medicare Codes for the BEXXAR Therapeutic Regimen.

Terms of use | Privacy policy | Copyright © 2018 Farlex, Inc. | Feedback | For webmasters