Ever on the cutting edge, New York Methodist Hospital has initiated a new protocol for the treatment of patients with non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. The latest breakthrough in the arsenal of fighting this disease is a tiny, but mighty, radioisotope called yttrium-90. It is particularly deadly to certain types of non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. In combination with a type of the immunoglobulin G (IgG1) antibody, yttrium-90 can hone-in on cancer cells at the molecular level, and then administer cancer-killing radiation to those cells.
It’s a great addition to the arsenal, said Dr. Hani Ashamalla, chairwoman of radiation oncology.
“Every year, more than 15,000 Americans are diagnosed with follicular and/or low-grade non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma,” she said. “The first line of defense against this type of lymphoma is typically close monitoring and treatment with chemotherapy or anti-cancer drugs.”
However, if the patient’s cancer recurs after the initial treatment, this new therapy can be added to help prevent it from spreading, thereby giving the patient a much better chance of a cure than previous options, she added.
Dr. Alan Astrow, chief of hematology-oncology, further explained.
“With any type of treatment for cancer, ‘success’ means we achieve the best result with the fewest side effects for our patients,” he said.
Standing O salutes the hospital for being on the forefront of treatment in this deadly disease.
New York Methodist Hospital [506 Sixth St. and Eighth Avenue in Park Slope, (718) 780–3000].