Additional Resources & Glossary
If you have been diagnosed with follicular lymphoma, getting educated is the first step in taking control of your cancer. Visit the websites below to learn more about follicular lymphoma:
Aggressive: In medicine, describes a tumor or disease that forms, grows, or spreads quickly. It may also describe treatment that is more severe or intense than usual. A type of lymphoma that grows and spreads quickly and has severe symptoms; also known as high-grade or intermediate-grade.
Antibodies: Proteins made by white blood cells in response to an antigen (a substance that causes the body to make a specific immune response). Each antibody can bind to only one specific antigen. The purpose of this binding is to help destroy the antigen.
Antigen: Any substance that causes the body to make a specific immune response.
B-cells: A type of immune cell that is made in the bone marrow and is found in the blood and in lymph tissue. The two main types of lymphocytes are B lymphocytes and T lymphocytes. B lymphocytes make antibodies. A lymphocyte is a type of white blood cell.
Blood chemistry: A procedure in which a sample of blood is examined to measure the amounts of certain substances made in the body. An abnormal amount of a substance can be a sign of disease in the organ or tissue that produces it.
Blood smear (or manual differential): A blood smear is a diagnostic test used to look for abnormalities within the blood. The cell types are examined under a microscope for unusual shapes or sizes.
Bone marrow aspiration: A procedure in which a small sample of bone marrow is removed, usually from the hip bone, breastbone, or thigh bone. A small area of skin and the surface of the bone underneath are numbed with an anesthetic. Then, a special wide needle is pushed into the bone. A sample of liquid bone marrow is removed with a syringe attached to the needle. The bone marrow is sent to a laboratory to be looked at under a microscope. This procedure may be done at the same time as a bone marrow biopsy.
CD20: A protein found on B cells (a type of white blood cell). It may be found in higher than normal amounts in patients with certain types of B-cell lymphomas and leukemias. Measuring the amount of CD20 antigen on blood cells may help to diagnose cancer or plan cancer treatment. CD20 antigen is a type of tumor marker. Also called CD20.
Cerebrospinal fluid: The fluid that flows in and around the hollow spaces of the brain and spinal cord, and between two of the meninges (the thin layers of tissue that cover and protect the brain and spinal cord). Cerebrospinal fluid is made by tissue called the choroid plexus in the ventricles (hollow spaces) in the brain. Also called CSF.
Chromosome: Part of a cell that contains genetic information. Except for sperm and eggs, all human cells contain 46 chromosomes.
Clinical: Having to do with the examination and treatment of patients.
Complete blood count (CBC): A measure of the number of red blood cells, white blood cells, and platelets in the blood. The amount of hemoglobin (substance in the blood that carries oxygen) and the hematocrit (the amount of whole blood that is made up of red blood cells) are also measured. A complete blood count is used to help diagnose and monitor many conditions. Also called blood cell count, CBC, and full blood count.
Complete response: The disappearance of all signs of cancer in response to treatment. This does not always mean the cancer has been cured. Also called complete remission.
Complete response rate: The percentage of patients whose cancer disappears after treatment.
Core/Fine needle aspiration: The removal of tissue or fluid with a thin needle for examination under a microscope. Also called FNA biopsy. The removal of a tissue sample with a wide needle for examination under a microscope. Also called core biopsy.
Cytogenetics: The study of chromosomes and chromosomal abnormalities.
Cytopenias: A condition in which there is a lower-than-normal number of blood cells.
Excisional/Incisional biopsy: A surgical procedure in which an entire/portion of a lump or suspicious area is removed for diagnosis. The tissue is then examined under a microscope to check for signs of disease.
Grading: A system for classifying cancer cells in terms of how abnormal they appear when examined under a microscope. The objective of a grading system is to provide information about the probable growth rate of the tumor and its tendency to spread. The systems used to grade tumors vary with each type of cancer. Grading plays a role in treatment decisions.
Ibritumomab: A monoclonal antibody that is used in ZEVALIN.
Immune system: A complex network of cells, tissues, organs, and the substances they make that helps the body fight infections and other diseases. The immune system includes white blood cells and organs and tissues of the lymph system, such as the thymus, spleen, tonsils, lymph nodes, lymph vessels, and bone marrow.
Immunohistochemistry: A laboratory test that uses antibodies to test for certain antigens in a sample of tissue. The antibody is usually linked to a radioactive substance or a dye that causes the antigens in the tissue to light up under a microscope. Immunohistochemistry is used to help diagnose diseases, such as cancer. It may also be used to help tell the difference between different types of cancer.
Immunophenotyping: A process used to identify cells, based on the types of antigens or markers on the surface of the cell. This process is used to diagnose specific types of leukemia and lymphoma by comparing the cancer cells to normal cells of the immune system.
Indolent: A type of cancer that grows slowly.
Infusion: A method of putting fluids, including drugs, into the bloodstream. Also called intravenous infusion.
Intravenous: Into or within a vein. Intravenous usually refers to a way of giving a drug or other substance through a needle or tube inserted into a vein. Also called IV.
Lactate dehydrogenase (LDH): A group of enzymes found in the blood. LDH levels are often increased in patients with lymphoma.1
Lumbar puncture (or spinal tap): A procedure in which a thin needle called a spinal needle is put into the lower part of the spinal column to collect cerebrospinal fluid or to give drugs. Also called spinal tap.
Lymph: The clear fluid that travels through the lymphatic system and carries cells that help fight infections and other diseases. Also called lymphatic fluid.
Lymph node: A rounded mass of lymphatic tissue that is surrounded by a capsule of connective tissue. Lymph nodes filter lymph (lymphatic fluid), and they store lymphocytes (white blood cells). They are located along lymphatic vessels. Also called lymph gland.
Lymphatic system: The tissues and organs that produce, store, and carry white blood cells that fight infections and other diseases. This system includes the bone marrow, spleen, thymus, lymph nodes, and lymphatic vessels (a network of thin tubes that carry lymph and white blood cells). Lymphatic vessels branch, like blood vessels, into all the tissues of the body.
Lymphocyte: A type of immune cell that is made in the bone marrow and is found in the blood and in lymph tissue. The two main types of lymphocytes are B lymphocytes and T lymphocytes. B lymphocytes make antibodies, and T lymphocytes help kill tumor cells and help control immune responses. A lymphocyte is a type of white blood cell.
Metabolic activity: Having to do with metabolism (the total of all chemical changes that take place in a cell or an organism to produce energy and basic materials needed for important life processes).
Molecular genetics tests: Genetic testing is a type of medical test that identifies changes in chromosomes, genes, or proteins. The results of a genetic test can confirm or rule out a suspected genetic condition or help determine a person’s chance of developing or passing on a genetic disorder.
Monoclonal antibody: A type of protein made in the laboratory that can bind to substances in the body, including cancer cells. There are many kinds of monoclonal antibodies. A monoclonal antibody is made so that it binds to only one substance. Monoclonal antibodies are being used to treat some types of cancer. They can be used alone or to carry drugs, toxins, or radioactive substances directly to cancer cells.
Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI): A procedure in which radio waves and a powerful magnet linked to a computer are used to create detailed pictures of areas inside the body. These pictures can show the difference between normal and diseased tissue. MRI makes better images of organs and soft tissue than other scanning techniques, such as computed tomography (CT) or x-ray. MRI is especially useful for imaging the brain, the spine, the soft tissue of joints, and the inside of bones. Also called magnetic resonance imaging, NMRI, and nuclear magnetic resonance imaging.
Natural-Killer (NK)-cells: A type of immune cell that has granules (small particles) with enzymes that can kill tumor cells or cells infected with a virus. An NK cell is a type of white blood cell. Also called natural killer cell and NK-LGL.
Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma: Any of a large group of cancers of lymphocytes (white blood cells). Non-Hodgkin lymphomas can occur at any age and are often marked by lymph nodes that are larger than normal, fever, and weight loss. Lymphomas that occur after bone marrow or stem cell transplantation are usually B-cell non-Hodgkin lymphomas. Prognosis and treatment depend on the stage and type of disease. Also called NHL.
Overall response rate: The percentage of patients whose cancer shrinks after treatment.
Partial response: A decrease in the size of a tumor, or in the extent of cancer in the body, in response to treatment. Also called partial remission.
Pathogen : Any disease-producing agent, especially a virus, bacterium, or other microorganism.
Pathologist: A doctor who identifies diseases by studying cells and tissues under a microscope.
Positron Emission Tomography (PET) Scan: A procedure in which a small amount of radioactive glucose (sugar) is injected into a vein, and a scanner is used to make detailed, computerized pictures of areas inside the body where the glucose is taken up. Because cancer cells often take up more glucose than normal cells, the pictures can be used to find cancer cells in the body. Also called positron emission tomography scan.
Progressed / Progression: In medicine, the course of a disease, such as cancer, as it becomes worse or spreads in the body.
Progression free survival (PFS): The length of time during and after the treatment of a disease, such as cancer, that a patient lives with the disease but it does not get worse. In a clinical trial, measuring the progression-free survival is one way to see how well a new treatment works. Also called PFS.
Radioactive tracer: A substance (such as a radioisotope) used in imaging procedures.
Radiation therapy: A cancer treatment that uses radiation (energy in the form of particles of electromagnetic waves) to destroy cancer cells and shrink tumors. Can be delivered from inside or outside the body.
Radioimmunotherapy: A type of radiation therapy in which a radioactive substance is linked to a monoclonal antibody and injected into the body. The monoclonal antibody can bind to substances in the body, including cancer cells. The radioactive substance gives off radiation, which may help kill cancer cells. Radioimmunotherapy is being used to treat some types of cancer, such as lymphoma.
Refractory: Refers to a cancer when it does not respond to a particular treatment.
Relapse: The return of signs and symptoms of cancer after improvement.
Remission: A decrease in or disappearance of signs and symptoms of cancer. In partial remission, some, but not all, signs and symptoms of cancer have disappeared. In complete remission, all signs and symptoms of cancer have disappeared, although cancer may still be in the body.
Rituximab: A drug used to treat certain types of B-cell non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. Rituximab binds to a protein called CD20, which is found on B-cells, and may destroy cancer cells. It is a type of monoclonal antibody.
Stage: The extent of a cancer in the body. Staging is usually based on the size of the tumor, whether lymph nodes contain cancer, and whether the cancer has spread from the original site to other parts of the body.
Stem cell transplantation: A method of replacing immature blood-forming cells in the bone marrow that have been destroyed by drugs, radiation, or disease. Stem cells are injected into the patient and make healthy blood cells. A stem cell transplant may be autologous (using a patient’s own stem cells that were saved before treatment), allogeneic (using stem cells donated by someone who is not an identical twin), or syngeneic (using stem cells donated by an identical twin).
T-cells: A type of immune cell that is made in the bone marrow and is found in the blood and in lymph tissue. The two main types of lymphocytes are B lymphocytes and T lymphocytes. B lymphocytes make antibodies. A lymphocyte is a type of white blood cell.
Tumor: An abnormal mass of tissue that results when cells divide more than they should or do not die when they should. Tumors may be benign (not cancer), or malignant (cancer). Also called neoplasm.
Ultrasound: A procedure that uses high-energy sound waves to look at tissues and organs inside the body. The sound waves make echoes that form pictures of the tissues and organs on a computer screen (sonogram). Ultrasound may be used to help diagnose diseases, such as cancer. It may also be used during pregnancy to check the fetus (unborn baby) and during medical procedures, such as biopsies. Also called ultrasonography.
White blood cells: A type of blood cell that is made in the bone marrow and found in the blood and lymph tissue. White blood cells are part of the body’s immune system. They help the body fight infection and other diseases. Types of white blood cells are granulocytes (neutrophils, eosinophils, and basophils), monocytes, and lymphocytes (T cells and B cells). Checking the number of white blood cells in the blood is usually part of a complete blood cell (CBC) test. It may be used to look for conditions such as infection, inflammation, allergies, and leukemia. Also called leukocyte and WBC.
White cell differential: The blood differential test measures the percentage of each type of white blood cell (WBC) that you have in your blood. It also reveals if there are any abnormal or immature cells.
Y-90 isotope: The isotope used in the radiotherapy portion of ZEVALIN. The “Y” stands for yttrium, a rare metal that is used in radiation therapy to treat some types of tumors. Y-90 can be linked to a monoclonal antibody, such as ibritumomab, to help it locate and bind to cancer cells in the body.
Indications and Usage
ZEVALIN® (ibritumomab tiuxetan) injection for intravenous use is a prescription medication that has three parts: two infusions of rituximab and one injection of Yttrium-90 (Y-90) ZEVALIN. Rituximab is used to reduce the number of B-cells in your blood and Y-90 ZEVALIN is given to treat your non-Hodgkin's lymphoma (NHL).
The ZEVALIN therapeutic regimen is used to treat patients with:
- Low-grade or follicular B-cell NHL that has relapsed during or after treatment with other anticancer drugs.
- Newly diagnosed follicular NHL following a response to initial anticancer therapy.
Patient Important Safety Information
What Is the Most Important Safety Information I Should Know About ZEVALIN Treatment?
The following section provides an overview of the most important safety information you should know about ZEVALIN, including side effects. Not all of the safety information about ZEVALIN treatment is included here. For complete safety information, please see the accompanying full prescribing information for ZEVALIN. Additional information may also be found on the ZEVALIN Website (www.ZEVALIN.com) or by speaking with your health care provider. Because ZEVALIN treatment includes the use of rituximab, please see the rituximab medication guide (www.rituxan.com).
WARNING: ZEVALIN TREATMENT CAN CAUSE SERIOUS SIDE EFFECTS:
- Serious Infusion Reactions: Rituximab, alone or as part of the ZEVALIN treatment, may cause serious infusion reactions. Deaths have occurred within 24 hours of rituximab infusion, an important component of the ZEVALIN treatment. Tell your doctor or infusion nurse or get medical treatment right away if you develop fever or chills, a rash, itching, dizziness, swelling of your hands, feet or face, throat irritation or trouble breathing during or after receiving the ZEVALIN treatment.
- Extended and Severe Decreases in Your Blood Counts (Cytopenias): Your doctor will monitor your blood counts after receiving the ZEVALIN treatment. Decreased blood counts can occur late and continue for more than 12 weeks after receiving ZEVALIN. Tell your doctor if you have a fever, feel too tired to do daily activities, feel weak, develop bruises or pinpoint red or purple spots on your skin, have unusual bleeding or notice blood in your urine or stool.
- Severe Skin or Mucous Membrane Reactions: If you experience any reactions related to your skin or mucous membranes (e.g. mouth, nose), your infusion of rituximab and Y-90 ZEVALIN should be discontinued.
Dosing Warning: The dose of Y-90 ZEVALIN should not exceed 32.0 mCi (1184 MBq).
Additional Safety Information:
Risk of Developing Myelodysplastic Syndrome, Leukemia and Other Malignancies (Cancers): The radiation dose resulting from therapeutic exposure to Y-90 ZEVALIN may result in secondary malignancies.
Myelodysplastic syndrome (MDS; a type of pre-cancerous bone marrow abnormality) and/or Acute Myelogenous Leukemia (AML, a type of cancer of the blood) were reported in 5.2% (11/211) of patients treated with Y-90 ZEVALIN for relapsed or refractory non-Hodgkin's lymphoma (NHL) in clinical studies, and 1.5% (8/535) of all patients included in the expanded-access trial, with median follow-up of 6.5 and 4.4 years, respectively. Among the 19 reported cases, the median time to diagnosis of MDS or AML was 1.9 years following the ZEVALIN therapy; however, the total incidence continues to increase.
Among 204 newly diagnosed patients who received Y-90 ZEVALIN, following complete or partial response to initial anticancer therapy, 7 patients (3.4%) were diagnosed with MDS/AML after receiving ZEVALIN treatment, compared to one patient (0.5%, 1/205) in the control arm, with a median follow-up of 7.3 years. Deaths due to secondary new malignancies occurred in 8 (3.9%) patients treated with ZEVALIN compared to 3 (1.5%) patients in the control arm of the study. Deaths due to MDS or AML occurred in 5 (2.5%) patients treated with ZEVALIN compared to no patients in the control arm.
- Infusion Site Leakage: ZEVALIN may leak from your vein or infusion site. Your doctor will monitor you during treatment and will stop the infusion and switch to another vein, if this occurs during treatment.
- Immunization: Do not get a vaccine that contains live virus for at least 12 months following ZEVALIN treatment.
- Precautions During and After Administration: Your doctor will discuss precautions with you to minimize radiation exposure.
- Potential for Birth Defects: ZEVALIN therapy may cause harm to an unborn baby, please tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant.
- Reproductive Organs: There is a risk that ZEVALIN therapy will affect the male and female reproductive organs. Use birth control during treatment and for a minimum of 12 months following ZEVALIN therapy.
- Nursing Mothers: Discontinue nursing during and after ZEVALIN treatment.
Adverse Reactions (Side Effects): The most common adverse reactions (≥10%) in clinical trials with ZEVALIN were: decreases in blood counts, tiredness, inflammation of the nose and upper throat, nausea (upset stomach), abdominal (stomach) pain, weakness, cough, diarrhea, and fever. The most serious adverse reactions of ZEVALIN are prolonged and severe reduction in the number of blood counts and secondary cancers.
When administered following initial anticancer therapy, grade 3/4 adverse reactions of ZEVALIN include prolonged and severe decrease in blood counts (decrease in platelets [51%], decrease in neutrophils (a type of white blood cell) [41%], decrease in total white blood cells [36%], decrease in lymphocytes [18%], and decrease in red blood cells or hemoglobin [5%]), and secondary cancers (12.7%). Reductions in blood cells were more severe and more prolonged among 11 (5%) patients who received ZEVALIN after first-line fludarabine or a fludarabine-containing anticancer regimen as compared to patients receiving non-fludarabine-containing regimens. Grade 3/4 infections occurred in 8% of ZEVALIN-treated patients and in 2% of controls and included neutropenic sepsis (fever and infection due to decrease in the number of neutrophils [1%]), bronchitis, catheter sepsis (bacterial infection in the blood related to catheter), diverticulitis (inflammation in the intestines), shingles or blistering skin rash caused from herpes virus reactivation, flu, lower air passage infection, sinusitis (swelling of the sinuses), and upper air passage infection.
Grade 3/4 adverse reactions of ZEVALIN in recurring NHL patients include prolonged and severe reduction of blood cells (decrease in platelets [63%], decrease in neutrophils [60%], decrease in red blood cells or hemoglobin [17%], and ecchymosis (small blue or purple patch on the skin or mucous membrane [<1%])) and secondary cancers (5.2%). Serious infections occurred in 3% of patients (urinary tract infection, febrile neutropenia, sepsis, pneumonia, cellulitis (type of skin infection), colitis (swelling of the large intestine), diarrhea, osteomyelitis (bone infection), and upper-air passage infection). Life-threatening infections were reported in 2% of patients (sepsis, empyema (collection of pus in a cavity in the body), pneumonia, febrile neutropenia, fever, and biliary stent-associated cholangitis (bile duct infection)).
Please click here to see the full Prescribing Information, including the BOXED WARNINGS, for ZEVALIN. Because ZEVALIN treatment includes the use of rituximab, please see the rituximab medication guide (www.rituxan.com).
You are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit www.fda.gov/medwatch, or call 1-800-FDA-1088.
1. NCI Dictionary of Cancer Terms. National Cancer Institute Web site. http://www.cancer.gov/dictionary. Accessed March 13, 2015.
2. Blood Smear. Healthline Web site. http://www.healthline.com/health/blood-smear#Overview1. Published June 6, 2012. Accessed March 13, 2015.
3. What is genetic testing? Genetics Home Reference Web site. http://ghr.nlm.nih.gov/handbook/testing/genetictesting. Published March 10, 2015. Accessed March 13, 2015.
4. Pathogen. Dictionary.com Web site. http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/pathogen. Published 2005. Accessed March 13, 2015.
5. Beta 2 –Microglobulin Test. The Free Dictionary – Medical Dictionary Web site. http://medical-dictionary.thefreedictionary.com/Beta+2+-Microglobulin+Test. Published 2008. Accessed March 13, 2015.
6. Blood differential. Medline Plus Web site. http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ency/article/003657.htm. Published February 2, 2013. Accessed March 13, 2015.