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South Boston Online
  Friday, March 27, 2015
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A Medical Bulletin on Non-Hodgkin's Lymphoma

     Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma is a slowly growing, potentially life threatening form of cancer, which afflicts the immune system.  When it develops, white blood cells grow uncontrollably in the individual lymph nodes.  More than 50,000 new cases of non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma are diagnosed every year.

     A recent medical breakthrough has occurred.  Unlike traditional treatments (chemotherapy, monoclonals), it focuses on individualized treatment that kills cancerous cells while sparing normal cells.  Research on this treatment still continues.  Residents of the Boston Metro area, who have non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, may be eligible to participate in a large-scale study of the treatment.

     Dr. Andreas Klein of the New England Medical Center at Tufts University (Tufts/NEMC) is working with Biovest International, which is a company conducting research into patient-specific cancer vaccines.  One of Biovest’s personalized therapeutics is being tested in patients with indolent (slowly growing) follicular B-cell non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma.

     The basic technology involves using a sample of cancerous cells from an individual patient, which is mixed with another line of cells developed at Stanford University.  From this mix, an individualized vaccine is collected and purified.  After preliminary treatments kill most of the cancerous cells in a patient, the individualized vaccine is injected.  This stimulates the patient’s own immune system to kill the remaining cancer cells.  So far, the results on small test groups – 20 patients or so – have been very encouraging.

     If any of our readers want to follow this study up, you may call toll-free at (877)654-6052.  You may also log onto www.biovest.com 

    EDITOR’S NOTE:  This bulletin from South Boston Online is the sort of news we feel obliged to pass on to you.  However, we aren’t technologists, so we cannot assess or recommend any medical research or course of treatment.  If you are interested, check out this study carefully yourself.  We strongly recommend that you also discuss it with a competent medical professional, such as your own personal care provider (PCP) or with Dr. Andreas himself.

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