Chemotherapy-resistant cancer patients who have one of threelymphomas -- Hodgkin's disease, cutaneous T cell lymphomaand non-Hodgkin's lymphoma -- may benefit most from atherapeutic regimen that targets cell-surface IL-2 receptors,reported Thasia Woodworth, vice president for clinical affairsat Seragen Inc., on Monday at the 34th Annual Meeting of theAmerican Society of Hematology in Anaheim, Calif.

Apparently, malignant cells from these patients contain a largenumber of cell-surface IL-2 receptors. In Phase I/II trials,Seragen's (NASDAQ:SRGN) IL-2 receptor-targeted fusion toxinDAB486IL-2 caused total remission of the tumors in threepatients for up to 30 months, and a significant regression intumor size in another eight, which lasted from two to 12months.

The Hopkinton, Mass., company has created a less toxic versionof its drug, named DAB389IL-2, on which it began Phase I/IIclinical trials in chemotherapy-resistant patients with the samethree lymphoma types in October. Although it's too early forSeragen "to say much about those trials, we haven't had anysafety problems," explained Helen Maslocka, Seragen's directorof corporate communications. And Woodworth said that"preliminary evaluation reveals only minimal and transientadverse effects in participating patients."

-- Jennifer Van Brunt Senior Editor

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