Zevalin® (Ibritumomab Tiuxetan) is a form of cancer therapy called radioimmunotherapy. The Food and Drug Administration approved it in February 2002 as the first radioimmunotherapy agent for the treatment of non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma (NHL). The fifth most common cancer after Breast, Prostate, Lung, and colon cancer, NHL is a type of malignant disease that occurs within the lymphatic system. Radioimmunotherapy is a promising new area of cancer treatment that combines the targeting power of monoclonal antibodies – engineered in a laboratory to recognize and attach to substances on the surface of certain cells – with radioactive isotopes. Zevalin® is a radiolabeled monoclonal antibody that targets B-cell lymphomas. Given on an outpatient basis over a period of seven to nine days, the physicians of the Cancer Treatment Group deliver the treatment regimen by infusion. When infused into the patient, the radiation-carrying antibodies circulate in the body and attach to the surface of specific cells, delivering radiation directly to the cancerous cells. On day one, patients are infused with Rituxan and are then injected with a dose of the Zevalin antibody. Seven to nine days later, patients receive a second Rituxan infusion, followed by another injection of the Zevalin antibody. Follow-up care will be required for at least 12 weeks.

Benefits of Zevalin

  • Indicated for the treatment of patients with relapsed or refractory low-grade, follicular, or transformed B-cell NHL
  • Delivers a targeted dose of radiation directly to the malignant cells
  • Can be used to supplement chemotherapy, bone marrow transplant, or stem cell transplants for increased efficacy
  • Potential for use as a replacement to external beam radiation therapy