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Medical Breakthrough: New treatment for form of Non-Hodgkin's Lymphoma

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Non-Hodgkin's Lymphoma is one of the most common types of cancers, and now there's a new FDA approved treatment for it. 

Renee Bentson has been raising tortoises for decades. They make her happy, and that's important after the rough few years she's had.

"I had swollen glands, and at the time, my husband had been diagnosed with heart failure and so, I just didn't want to say anything. Then one day, I was doing my hair and there was a lump on my arm," Bentson said.

Diagnosed with Follicular Lymphoma, or FL, a form of Non-Hodgkin's Lymphoma affecting the body's immune B-cells, Bentson underwent four different immunotherapy trials.

"Every one was successful in the beginning," Bentson said.

But all failed in the end. Then, a new trial led by City of Hope's Hematologist Elizabeth Budde became available. Bentson was one of the first patients to sign up for the new bi-specific antibody treatment.

"It really grabs the T-cells and redirects the T-cells to the neighborhood of the lymphoma cells," Budde said.

Mosunetuzumab is given intravenously for eight cycles.

"Now, they're able to see the target, direct into the target. So, the T-cells are activated, and they killed up the targets as directed," Budde said.

In the trial, 80 percent of patients responded to treatment and 60 percent are in complete remission.

The FDA has now given accelerated approval to Mosunetuzumab for patients experiencing relapsed Follicular Lymphoma.

Ongoing clinical trials are exploring the application as an injectable treatment of this medication, either at an earlier stage in the therapeutic process or in combination with other medications.

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