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Wednesday, June 24, 2009

St. Francis researchers seeking patients for global cancer study

INDIANAPOLIS – Researchers at the St. Francis Cancer Research Foundation are comparing combinations of chemotherapy agents that are most effective for treating patients with advanced indolent non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma (NHL) or mantle cell lymphoma (MCL).

The Phase III randomized trial, which is sponsored by Pennsylvania-based biopharmaceutical company, Cephalon, Inc., compares the complete response rate of bendamustine and rituximab with that of standard treatment regimens.

NHL is a form of cancer that begins in the cells of the lymph system, which suppress the formation and function of other immune and blood cells. Indolent NHL refers to lymphoma that grows and spreads slowly and has few symptoms. However, as the disease advances symptoms worsen and treatment with chemotherapy combination becomes appropriate.

While rare, MCL is found in lymph nodes, the spleen, bone marrow, blood and sometimes the gastrointestinal system.

Led by principal investigator Maureen Cooper, M.D., St. Francis is the first in the world to establish a trial site for the study and to enroll its first patient.

This study is being conducted in approximately 110 centers is the United States, Canada, Australia and New Zealand.

St. Francis continues to seek patients for the study. To learn more about the criteria needed to participate in the trial call 317-782-7820 or visit

More information about other clinical trials under way at St. Francis Hospital & Health Centers is at

For more information about Cephalon, please visit