Radioimmunotherapy of non-Hodgkin's lymphoma: From the 'magic bullets' to 'radioactive magic bullets'

Murthy R. Chamarthy, Scott C. Williams, Renee M. Moadel

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

45 Scopus citations


Radioimmunotherapy (RIT†) of lymphoma with Zevalin and Bexxar was approved by FDA in 2002 and 2003, respectively, for the treatment of relapsed or refractory CD20+ follicular B-cell non-Hodgkin's lymphoma. In 2009, Zevalin was also approved for consolidation therapy in patients with follicular non-Hodgkin's lymphoma that achieve a partial or complete response to first-line chemotherapy. For follicular lymphoma patients, the overall response and progression-free survival rates have significantly improved since the implementation of RIT. The predominant complication of RIT is hematological toxicity that is usually manageable. There are ongoing trials to further define the expanding role of RIT as first line or concomitant therapy in the treatment of lymphoma as well as for certain antibiotic resistant infections and aggressive malignancies. There is also growing interest in the development of newer protocols for increased and more uniform dose delivery resulting in better outcomes and improved patient survival. This review will primarily focus on the role of RIT in treatment of non-Hodgkin's lymphoma, which is of established clinical utility and FDA approved. The mechanism of RIT, available radionuclides and pharmacokinetics, therapy administration, clinical utility and toxicities, and future directions would be discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)391-407
Number of pages17
JournalYale Journal of Biology and Medicine
Issue number4
StatePublished - Dec 1 2011


  • Alpha particle
  • Auger
  • Beta particle
  • Bexxar
  • Biodistribution
  • Dosimetry
  • Hodgkin's lymphoma
  • Immunotherapy
  • Lymphoma
  • Monoclonal antibody
  • Non-Hodgkin's lymphoma
  • Radioimmunotherapy
  • Rituximab
  • Y-90
  • Zevalin

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology


Dive into the research topics of 'Radioimmunotherapy of non-Hodgkin's lymphoma: From the 'magic bullets' to 'radioactive magic bullets''. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this