Women respond better to the treatment of lymph gland cancer with antibodies than men

Women respond better to the treatment of lymph gland cancer with antibodies than men

(Medical Xpress)—Women respond much better than men to the treatment of chronic follicular lymphoma with a monoclonal antibody that targets CD20 (rituximab). These are the findings of a multi-centre, Austria-wide study by the Arbeitsgemeinschaft medikamentöse Tumortherapie (AGMT) carried out under the supervision of the University Department of Internal Medicine I and study leader Ulrich Jäger, which has now been published in the journal Haematologica. It was also discovered that the volume of lymphoma cells has an important role to play.

Says Jäger: "This means that men with a large tumour or bone marrow infiltration respond poorest to , while women without bone marrow involvement and a small tumour respond best."

Follicular lymphoma is a chronic cancer of the lymphatic glands which frequently recurs after a temporary remission, i.e. a reduction in lymph node swelling and symptoms of illness. Around 40-50 new patients a year are treated for the condition at the University Department of Internal Medicine I. primarily occurs in the lymph nodes or in the bone marrow.

Until now, it was only known that women with this condition generally have a better prognosis. "They have also fared particularly better, however, since the antibody Rituximab has been used as treatment," says the haematologist who is (currently) also the President of the European Hematology Association (EHA).

The study has shown that blood concentrations (serum concentrations) in women are around 20 per cent higher than in men over the period of treatment with Rituximab. Women achieve saturation of the blood concentration with the antibody during the fourth cycle of therapy, significantly earlier than male patients. 

"The next step must therefore be to carry out studies in which we give men this antibody more often or at a higher dose at the very start of treatment, in order to determine whether this improves the prognosis of male ," says Jäger. "We also need to look at other conditions in which antibodies are used in order to determine whether there is a similar gender-specific effect taking place." These studies are being planned.

More information: Jäger, U. et al., "Rituximab serum concentrations during immuno-chemotherapy of follicular lymphoma correlate with patient gender, bone marrow infiltration and clinical response." Haematologica, 2012. Doi:10.3324/haematol.2011.059246

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Recommended for you

Pepper and halt: Spicy chemical may inhibit gut tumors

11 hours ago

Researchers at the University of California, San Diego School of Medicine report that dietary capsaicin – the active ingredient in chili peppers – produces chronic activation of a receptor on cells lining ...

Expressive writing may help breast cancer survivors

13 hours ago

Writing down fears, emotions and the benefits of a cancer diagnosis may improve health outcomes for Asian-American breast cancer survivors, according to a study conducted by a researcher at the University of Houston (UH).

Taking the guesswork out of cancer therapy

19 hours ago

Researchers and doctors at the Institute of Bioengineering and Nanotechnology (IBN), Singapore General Hospital (SGH) and National Cancer Centre Singapore (NCCS) have co-developed the first molecular test ...

Brain tumour cells found circulating in blood

19 hours ago

(Medical Xpress)—German scientists have discovered rogue brain tumour cells in patient blood samples, challenging the idea that this type of cancer doesn't generally spread beyond the brain.

International charge on new radiation treatment for cancer

20 hours ago

(Medical Xpress)—Imagine a targeted radiation therapy for cancer that could pinpoint and blast away tumors more effectively than traditional methods, with fewer side effects and less damage to surrounding tissues and organs.

User comments