Radiation therapy is undergoing final approval and will soon be available.
Radioimmunotherapy has been used in Norway since 2004 when 90Y-ibritumomab tiuxetan (Zevalin®) was approved in Europe. Experimental treatment has been underway since the beginning of the 1990's.
Zevalin® is a very effective drug that will likely gain an important place in treatment of less aggressive lymphomas. Seventy-four percent of patients have good effect from treatment.
90 Y-ibritumomab tiuxetan has in a series of studies also shown to have positive effects on follicular lymphomas. The radioactive istope yttrium-90 is added to the murine monoclonal antibody which then binds to the CD20 antibody. The preparation takes place at each spesific treatment centre. Results can be compared with those achieved by chemotherapy and side effects are most likely less. The entire treatment is completed in one week and can be done on an outpatient basis.
Radioimmunotherapy with Zevalin® can now be carried out at larger oncology departments in Norway. Treatment is approved for patients with recurrence after, or, with no reponse to rituximab. This treatment is very costly and there is currently no reimbursement scheme.
- Follicular non-Hodgkin lymphomas
- Recurrence or resistance to the monoclonal antibody rituximab
Contraindications are allergic reaction to the drug or additives, or other mouse proteins.