Around 1 in 5 people diagnosed with cancer in the UK take part in a clinical trial.
A trial looking at Zevalin and chemotherapy for follicular lymphoma that has come back (SCHRIFT)
This trial was for people whose follicular lymphoma had come back after earlier treatment (relapsed).
Cancer Research UK supported this trial.
More about this trial
Follicular lymphoma is the most common type of non-Hodgkin lymphoma (NHL). CHOP chemotherapy and a
Having a shorter course of chemotherapy and adding a drug called Zevalin (instead of radiotherapy) may cause fewer side effects.
Zevalin (ibritumomab) is a 'radio labelled' monoclonal antibody. This means it has a radioactive molecule called yttrium 90 attached to it. The antibody finds lymphoma cells by seeking out a protein called CD20 on the cells’ surface. The radioactive yttrium (pronounced it-ree-um) then kills them.
The aims of this trial were to find out
- how well Zevalin works with a shorter course of chemotherapy
- if there were fewer side effects
Summary of results
The trial team found that having a shorter course of chemotherapy and Zevalin was a useful treatment for follicular lymphoma that had come back.
50 people had a shorter course of chemotherapy and rituximab. So everyone had
- R-CHOP or
followed by Zevalin.
8 weeks after having Zevalin the researchers looked at how well treatment had worked. They found that for:
- 12 people their lymphoma went away completely (a complete response)
- 34 people the lymphoma went away a little bit (a partial response)
- 1 person the lymphoma stayed the same (stable disease)
For 3 people a complete response may have occurred but this was not confirmed.
The people who took part had regular check ups. At the check ups the trial team found that:
- 18 people who had a partial response after chemotherapy went on to have a complete response after Zevalin
- 7 people who had a partial response after Zevalin went on to have a complete response 12 to 18 months later
The researchers looked at the average length of time people lived without any signs of their cancer getting worse. This is called progression free survival. This was just under 2 years (23.1 months).
They also looked at how long people lived after treatment. At 5 years, around 8 out of 10 people (77.5%) were still alive.
The main side effects were easily managed. They included:
- a drop in blood cells causing an increased risk of infection, bleeding problems, tiredness and breathlessness
The trial team concluded that a shorter course of chemotherapy and Zevalin was a useful treatment for this group of people. And the side effects weren’t too bad.
We have based this summary on information from the research team. The information they sent us has been reviewed by independent specialists (
How to join a clinical trial
Professor Tim Illidge
Cancer Research UK
Experimental Cancer Medicine Centre (ECMC)
National Cancer Research Institute (NCRI)
NIHR Clinical Research Network: Cancer
University Hospital Southampton NHS Foundation Trust
This is Cancer Research UK trial number CRUK/07/038.