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Cancer Treat Rev. 2004 Apr;30(2):165-72.

Radiolabeled antibody therapy in non-Hodgkins lymphoma: radiation protection, isotope comparisons and quality of life issues.

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Department of Nuclear Medicine, UCLA Medical Center, Los Angeles, CA, USA.


Anti-CD20 antibodies radiolabeled with I-131 tositumomab (Bexxar) or Y-90-Ibritumomab tiuxetan (Zevalin), are similarly efficacious in treating chemotherapy-refractory non-Hodgkin's lymphoma. The relative merits of both radioimmunoconjugates with respect to practical issues, including radiation exposure risk, the advantages and disadvantages of the respective isotopes and other parameters that could affect a patient's quality of life are also important. I-131-labeled antibody treatment often requires inpatient hospitalization due to the inherent risk of exposure from gamma emissions, and patients and families should follow detailed instructions to prevent undue exposure. Other issues relevant to patients and medical staff include: (1) the need for dosimetry to calculate effective therapeutic doses of I-131-labeled anti-B1 (Bexxar) compared with the lack of correlation of dosimetry with marrow toxicity for IDEC-Y2B8 (Zevalin), (2) determining the acute and long-term toxic effects of each agent, (3) time commitments for nuclear medicine staff and patients along with the relative ease of administration, and (4) cost considerations. A more challenging future issue will be to determine the optimal use of Bexxar and Zevalin alone and in combination in ways that will significantly affect patient outcome without compromising quality of life. The recent demonstration of significant response rates in patients having chemotherapy-refractory Non-Hodgkin's Lymphoma (NHL) using both on I-131- and Y-90-labeled anti-CD20 antibodies with minimal toxicity has stimulated comparison of I-131 tositumomab (Bexxar) and Ibritumomab tiuxetan (Zevalin) in terms of radiation safety requirements, the advantages and disadvantages of both radionuclides, and quality-of-life (QOL) issues. Therefore, in this review, we attempt to compare the relative merits of (Bexxar and Zevalin) and address important practical considerations that may influence patient and physician choices regarding treatment using these agents.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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