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BEXXAR radioimmunotherapy at Van Elslander Cancer Center

The Van Elslander Cancer Center and the nuclear medicine department at St. John Hospital and Medical Center (SJH&MC) have teamed up to offer a promising new treatment for patients with non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma (NHL).  BEXXAR, a type of treatment called radioimmunotherapy, is only offered at a handful of centers in the state.  Radioimmunotherapy combines the targeting ability of a monoclonal antibody (a type of protein genetically designed to target a specific kind of cell) and the therapeutic potential of radiation.  It is an injectable treatment given in 2 steps over 1 to 2 weeks.

The BEXXAR regimen offers promising results for those patients with B-cell lymphoma containing CD20 positive antigens present on the cancer cell.  Approximately 80% of all NHL patients have this type.  BEXXAR eligible patients must have either low grade (slow growing) lymphoma, or transformed, when the disease has progressed from low to an intermediate grade.  They must also have received at least one previous chemotherapy regimen.

“The main driving force in setting up the BEXXAR treatment at our center is that we want to make sure that we have the latest treatments available to our patients,” said Ayad Al-Katib MD, director of the Van Elslander Cancer Center at St. John Hospital and Medical Center. “That way we have the most options and can tailor treatment for every patient with non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma.”

Zevalin, a similar radioimmunotherapy regimen for non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma patients, is also available to patients at the Van Elslander Cancer Center at SJH&MC.  For more information on either of these treatments, please contact Mary Mandriaza, MSN, RN Nurse Practitioner at (313) 647-3228 or email to


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