Radioimmunotherapy: A new treatment modality for B-Cell non-hodgkins lymphoma

Ghobrial Thomas, Thomas Witzig

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

19 Scopus citations


The field of radioimmunotherapy for the treatment of non-Hodgkins lymphoma (NHL) has advanced significantly over the past decade, and several radioimmunoconjugates are being tested in clinical trials. Two of these antibodies target CD20: yttrium-90 (Y-90)-labeled ibritumomab tiuxetan (Zevalin) and tositumomab/iodine-131 (I-131)-labeled tositumomab (Bexxar). Other agents target either CD22 (Y-90 epratuzumab) or human leukocyte antigen (HLA)-DR (1-131 Lym-1), respectively. In February 2002, Y-90-labeled ibritumomab tiuxetan became the first radioimmunoconjugate to be approved by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for the treatment of cancer. Tositumomab/I-131 tositumomab was approved in June 2003. Thus, two radioimmunoconjugates have been approved for the treatment of NHL. Both agents, when administered as a single dose, have produced impressive tumor response rates with an acceptable toxicity profile. The main side effect is reversible myelosuppression. Radioimmunotherapy produces overall response rates of approximately 80% in patients with low-grade lymphomas, and 25% to 30% of patients achieve a complete remission. Lower response rates (approximately 40%) have been reported in patients with large-cell lymphomas. This review discusses the clinical trials of radioimmunotherapeutic agents for NHL that demonstrated their safety and efficacy and outlines the current status of these agents.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)623-630
Number of pages8
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 2004

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research


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