Study Finds Biosimilar Compounds Safe and Effective for Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma, According to the Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma Center

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A European study of compounds designed to stimulate stem cells finds that biologically similar versions work as well as the original.

Assay for Non Hodgkins Lymphoma

The new study examines published reports on more than 900 patients with Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma or another blood cancer...

A study published in the journal Theranostics and reported by the Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma Center finds that a class of drugs that stimulate stem cell production in patients and donors is safe to use.

The drugs are biologically similar to granulocyte colony stimulating factor (G-CSF), a human glycoprotein that stimulates the bone marrow to produce granulocytes (a type of white blood cell) and stem cells and release them into the bloodstream. The drugs can be given to patients with diseases like Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma to stimulate the release of their own stem cells, or to donors for transplantation into sick patients.

Since the patent on G-CSF expired, several companies have begun producing these drugs. Referred to as “biosimilars” in Europe and “follow-on biologics” in the US, several have been approved for use, although their safety and efficacy is still being debated.

The new study examines published reports on more than 900 patients with Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma or another blood cancer and healthy stem cell donors treated with the G-CSF biosimilar compounds Ratiograstim, Tevagrastim or Zarzio. The researchers report that the drugs produced “good mobilization of CD34+ stem cells” and produced side effects similar to the original G-CSF. Once the collected stem cells were grafted into a new host, they behaved comparably to stem cells stimulated by G-CSF.

“In summary, the efficacy of biosimilar G-CSFs in terms of peripheral blood hematopoietic stem cell yield as well as their toxicity profile are equivalent to historical data with reference to G-CSF,” the researchers write in the European medical journal Theranostics. (Schmitt, M, et al, “Biosimilar G-CSF Based Mobilization of Peripheral Blood Hematopoietic Stem Cells for Autologous and Allogeneic Stem Cell Transplantation”, January 23, 2014, Theranostics, pp. 280-289.

Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphomas include cancers that involve the lymphocytes or white blood cells. They account for about 4 percent of all new cancer cases in the U.S. The National Cancer Institute estimates that more than 500,000 Americans are currently living with Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma. Today, there is more interest on the causes of Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma.

The Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma Center is part of the Cancer Monthly organization. The Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma Center has been established by Cancer Monthly to provide more comprehensive information on the causes, diagnosis, and treatments for the many different subtypes of Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma. For over ten years, Cancer Monthly has been the only centralized source of cancer treatment results. Patients can see the actual survival rate, quality-of-life indicators, and other key data for approximately 1,500 different cancer treatments. Cancer Monthly provides timely and ground-breaking news on the causes, diagnoses and treatments of the most common cancers including Bladder, Brain, Breast, Colon, Kidney (Renal), Liver, Lung (NSCLC), Ovarian, Prostate, and Rectal Cancers, Melanoma, Mesothelioma, and Non-Hodgkin's Lymphoma. Written for patients and their loved ones, Cancer Monthly helps families make more informed treatment decisions.

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