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Dr Catherine Diefenbach Discusses Reducing Toxicity When Treating Lymphoma

Pairing low doses of chemotherapy with newer, targeted drugs can help prevent high toxicity, said Catherine Diefenbach, MD, director of clinical lymphoma at the NYU Langone Perlmutter Cancer Center.


Pairing low doses of chemotherapy with newer, targeted drugs can help prevent high toxicity, said Catherine Diefenbach, MD, director of clinical lymphoma at the NYU Langone Perlmutter Cancer Center.

Transcript

What is the importance of reducing toxicity in the treatment of lymphoma? How does this affect patients’ overall health in addition to their quality of life?

So, I think in general it’s really important to use the new drugs that we are discovering that are targeted and to combine them intelligently with standard chemotherapy. Because we know that intensive chemotherapy regimens, while very effective in the first line, for patients who have short response or refractory disease are generally not effective in later lines, unless you go to really high doses. And most patients don’t tolerate this well, especially if they’re older, or they have significant toxicity.

So, trying to take a chemotherapy at lower doses and combine it with targeted strategies or immunotherapy is a way to both circumvent the high toxicity of cytotoxic chemotherapy and also rely on tumor biology to be smarter rather than more aggressive about targeting lymphoma.

 
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