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New Treatment for Adults with Relapsed Follicular Lymphoma


On September 12, 2017, the FDA granted accelerated approval to Aliqopa (copanlisib) for the treatment of adults with relapsed follicular lymphoma who have received at least two prior treatments known as systemic therapies.

 

“For patients with relapsed follicular lymphoma, the cancer often comes back even after multiple treatments,” said Richard Pazdur, M.D., director of the FDA’s Oncology Center of Excellence and acting director of the Office of Hematology and Oncology Products in the FDA’s Center for Drug Evaluation and Research. “Options are limited for these patients and today’s approval provides an additional choice for treatment, filling an unmet need for them.”

 

Follicular lymphoma is a slow-growing type of non-Hodgkin lymphoma, a cancer of the lymph system. The lymph system is part of the body’s immune system and is made up of lymph tissue, lymph nodes, the spleen, thymus, tonsils, and bone marrow. The National Cancer Institute at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) estimates that approximately 72,240 people in the United States will be diagnosed with some form of non-Hodgkin lymphoma this year. Approximately 20,140 patients with non-Hodgkin lymphoma will die from the disease in 2017.

 

Aliqopa is a kinase inhibitor that works by blocking several enzymes that promote cell growth.

 

Common side effects of Aliqopa include high blood sugar levels (hyperglycemia), diarrhea, decreased general strength and energy, high blood pressure (hypertension), low levels of certain white blood cells (leukopenia, neutropenia), nausea, lower respiratory tract infections, and low levels of blood platelets (thrombocytopenia).

 

Serious side effects include infections, high blood sugar levels (hyperglycemia), high blood pressure (hypertension), inflammation of the lung tissue (non-infectious pneumonitis), low levels of certain white blood cells (neutropenia), and severe skin reactions. Women who are pregnant or breastfeeding should not take Aliqopa because it may cause harm to a developing fetus or newborn baby.

 

See the FDA Announcement

 

See also Medical Law Perspectives Report: Drugs, Dosage, and Damage: Physician Liability for Prescribing or Administering Medication

 

See also Medical Law Perspectives Report: Mistakes in Diagnosing Cancer: Liability Concerns for Misdiagnosis, Failure to Diagnose, and Delayed Diagnosis

 

See the Medical Law Perspectives Blog: Failure to Diagnose Cancer Claims Face Hurdles, Especially in New York

 

 

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