Lugano, Switzerland (ots/PRNewswire) -
- Award and Lecture Mark Anniversary of Monoclonal Antibodies
Today, physicians and patient group representatives from around
the world celebrated the presentation of the San Salvatore Foundation
award for outstanding achievement in the field of malignant lymphoma
and the Henry Kaplan Memorial Lecture at the 10th International
Conference on Malignant Lymphoma (ICML) in Lugano, Switzerland.
Previous recipients of the award joined this year's winner, Professor
Bertrand Coiffier, for a special event to reflect on the progress
that has been made in the treatment of the disease through the
development of monoclonal antibodies.
Monoclonal antibodies, or "magic bullets" as they have become
known, are laboratory-produced substances that recognise and bind
onto a specific target on the surface of a cell. This class of drugs
was developed to address the need for treatments with a greater
degree of specificity, to reduce the side effects associated with
medication. Unlike more traditional forms of anti-cancer therapy that
damage healthy tissues as well as tumour cells, monoclonal antibodies
recognise only one target. They can also make tumour cells more
sensitive to chemotherapy, which further enhances their efficacy.
Rituximab was the world's first licensed monoclonal antibody therapy
for non-Hodgkin's lymphoma (NHL), the most common cancer of the
lymphatic system, and is currently used in patients with indolent and
aggressive forms of the disease. To date, over one million patients
have been treated with the drug(1).
Joining a long line of prestigious winners, including Dr Robert
Gallo, the co-discoverer of the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV),
Professor Coiffier said "I am delighted to have been presented with
the 2008 San Salvatore Foundation award. The last 10 years has been
an exciting time for doctors working in lymphoma. We can now offer
patients a much better chance of cure thanks to monoclonal antibodies
and it is an honour to give this special lecture to highlight
potential future options, which will hopefully continue to make a
real difference to patients."
Worldwide, approximately 360,000 new cases of lymphoma diagnosed
every Year(2) and there are currently one million people living with
lymphoma(2). Although the exact cause of lymphoma is unknown, with
early and accurate diagnosis and appropriate management, the disease
can be successfully treated and, in some cases, patients can be
The special event that followed the presentation of this year's
San Salvatore Foundation award and the Henry Kaplan Memorial Lecture
was sponsored by an unrestricted educational grant from F.
Hoffmann-La Roche Ltd.
1. Roche data on file
2. J. Ferlay, F. Bray, P. Pisani and D.M. Parkin. GLOBOCAN 2002:
Cancer Incidence, Mortality and Prevalence Worldwide IARC CancerBase
No. 5. version 2.0, IARCPress, Lyon, 2004
ots Originaltext: 10th International Conference on Malignant Lymphoma (ICML)
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