Two types of effective treatments for non-Hodgkin lymphoma are cell signaling inhibitors and monoclonal antibodies.
Click to enlarge/download [Illustration by Erin Moore]
Cell signaling inhibitors block overactive communication pathways, which send messages from the surface of a cancer cell to its nucleus. Blocking this communication stops the cell’s growth and survival. The leading molecules, or message transmitters, in this pathway are phosphatidylinositol-3-kinase (PI3K), Bruton’s tyrosine kinase (BTK) and mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR). Blocking these kinases with drugs like idelalisib (Zydelig), ibrutinib (Imbruvica), everolimus (Afinitor) or temsirolimus (Torisel) stops the cancer cells from growing.
Monoclonal antibodies recruit the immune system’s natural killer cells to attack the tumor. They do this by targeting specific receptors on the cell surface to initiate an immune response against the cancer. These agents may also bind to complement proteins to form holes in the cell membrane or block cell signaling, leading to self-destruction. Additionally, monoclonal antibodies can be used to deliver chemotherapy or radiation directly into the cancer cell. Monoclonal antibodies used to treat non-Hodgkin lymphoma include rituximab (Rituxan), obinutuzumab (Gazyva), ofatumumab (Arzerra), epratuzumab, brentuximab vedotin (Adcetris) and ibritumomab tiuxetan (Zevalin).
I have had three different kinds of treatment for NHL. Sure did not like the old way, sick some, lost some hair, etc. Then I was on Rituxan. That was nice no sickness nothing else really. And I was in remission for almost 7 years, even felt I might have it licked. But no it wasn't to be. Now I was presented with a new trial and it's even better. It is take by capsules and so far no side effects to really speak of. With the Rituxan you had to have infusions, and for me that meant more time off from work.
If I hadn't this chance I am sure I would have used one of the treatments above and would have been happy. Did anyone else have different experiences? I am hopeful with all these different treatments there will be cure for this cancer soon.
I have had NHL since 2003 and have had all the treatments that were available at the time. Initially there was only chemo therapy and it worked but it was not pleasant. It killed good cells with the bad cells. It put my NHL in remission for 5 years once. Almost forgot I had it. Now it is once again in remission and am having a combination of Pills and a Retuxan like drug called Gazyva. They are targeting my immune system to make it fight the cancer better and keep it away. Who knows what is next? MY guess is there is no cure but may be able to keep it away for a long period of time.
Hope this helps
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