Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma or NHL is a serious affection which occurs due to the presence of B cells (B lymophocytes), a type of white blood cells which usually lead to severe complications such as tumors. Even though, treatments with chemotherapy and radiation are considered effective for many people who suffer from NHL, on the other hand for many pantients these procedures can be very toxic.
In addition to this, specialists have developed in the laboratories a new theraphy to treat NHL, a theraphy known as Monoclonal-antibody which has been proved to be safe and effective for certain patients. As we know the body produces antibodies, substances which have the role to fight against bacteria and viruses. Moreover, monoclonal antibodies have been produced in laboratories like many other antibodies and have the role in producing anti-tumor effects. Since most NHL patients have B cells, treatment with monoclonal-antibodies has brought important results in healing lymphoma and much more they have been prescribed with other toxin or radioactive particles that usually kill cells.
Furthermore, monoclonal antibody treatments usually include medications as Rituxan or Bexxar. First of all, treatments with Rituxan are considered very effective for people who suffer from NHL and may be used for other types of lymphomas too. Rituxan is the only monoclonal antibody treatment approved for NHL and most of the time has been studied in patients that have relapsed low grade NHL. Moreover, it can be taken without other medicines and it is usually given intravenously once a week for 4 weeks. In contrast to other procedures, Rituxin doesn’t offer serious side effects such as hair loss, vomiting, and low blood counts.
Secondly, another monoclonal antibody which is being tested in laboratories is Bexxar. This medicine is a murine monoclonal antibody and doesn’t have a naked form due to the presence of a radiocative iodine molecule which is attached to it. Just like Rituxan, this agent is administered intravenous with the first dose having a trace amount of radioactivity and the second dose containing most of the radioactive iodine. On the other hand, Bexxar has some negative aspects, such as fever, chills or shakes and in some cases NHL patients may have temporary drop in blood counts.
Thirdly, another monoclonal antibody which has been studied as NHL treatments is Oncolym. This agent has been studied in a radiolabeled form like Bexxar and has proved to be toxic like other radiolabeled antibodies. In contrast, LL2 is a humanized antibody, using a naked, unlabeled form as well as a radiolabeled form.
To conclude, monoclonal antibodies can be very effective in treating NHL due to their low toxicity and also the advantage of combining them with each other and also by using them in combination with chemotherapy or other procedures. It is important to say that people who suffer from NHL should be aware of their condition and become well-informed in order to follow the suitable treatment.