From Southampton: “New cancer drug shows promise in helping patients with blood cancer”

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University of Southampton

5 December 2016
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New cancer drug shows promise in helping patients with blood cancer. No image credit.

A drug, which has been developed from the results of cancer immunology research at the University of Southampton, has been showed to reduce the risk of follicular lymphoma progression.

Results from the phase III GALLIUM study, being presented at the American Society of Hematology (ASH) congress, showed combining obinutuzumab (Gazyva) with chemotherapy in the first-line setting reduced the risk of disease progression or death by 34 per cent versus rituximab (Rituxan) plus chemotherapy in patients with follicular lymphoma.

Results also showed that time to relapse extended by 32 per cent in patients receiving obinutuzumab plus chemotherapy compared to rituximab plus chemotherapy.

Peter Johnson, Professor of Medical Oncology at the University of Southampton added: “This new type of antibody treatment for lymphoma has been developed from immunology research in Southampton which started more than 10 years ago, when we started to find out how these antibodies work. We have much more to do in many different types of cancer, but this is a great example of how discovery science can work through into better treatments for our patients”

It is this detailed research to better understand new drugs and combinations with immunotherapy, that will be taking place in the University of Southampton’s new Centre for Cancer Immunology.

The Centre, which is being built at Southampton General Hospital and due to open in 2017, will be the first of its kind in the UK to focus exclusively on immunotherapy, a revolutionary new treatment that supercharges the body’s natural defences to find and destroy cancer. The Centre will bring together world-leading specialists and its aim is to accelerate research progress and conduct more clinical trials.

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