• Women respond better to the lymph gland cancer antibody treatment than men, says study

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Women respond better to the lymph gland cancer antibody treatment than men, says study

Oct 11 2012

Women respond much better to the treatment of chronic follicular lymphoma with a monoclonal antibody than men.

The news was part of an Australia-wide, multi-centre study by the Association of Medical Tumour Therapy (AGMT) and was released today (October 10th) in the journal Haematologica.

Study leader, Ulrich Jager, of the University Department of Internal Medicine I, explained that what this means is that men with a bulky tumour or bone marrow infiltration respond the worst to the antibody therapy.

Women with a small tumour and without bone marrow involvement respond the best, said the expert.

A chronic cancer of the lymphatic glands, follicular lymphoma often recurs following a temporary remission, which includes a lessening in lymph node swelling and symptoms of illness. It primarily affects the lymph nodes or the bone marrow.

The department treats 40 to 50 new patients annually for the condition.

Since the antibody Rituximab has been utilised as a treatment, women have had a better prognosis than men, explained the haematologist who is also the president of the European Hematology Association.

The results of the study show that there are typically 20 per cent higher blood concentrations (serum concentrations) in women than in men over during treatment with the antibody.

Women attain saturation of the blood concentration with the antibody through the fourth cycle of therapy, which occurs considerably earlier than male patients.

The expert states that going forward, studies must be conducted where men should get a higher dose or be given the antibody more often to determine whether this improves the diagnosis for them.

"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," said Mr Jager.

Posted by Neil Clark


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