Simple shot could send non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma into remission
by JEAN ENERSEN / KING 5 News
Posted on July 17, 2010 at 5:49 PM
Keeping three high school girls focused on books instead of boys would keep any mother busy. Try doing it with non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma.
“They explained to me it was incurable and that basically, I could do chemotherapy, but it would just be coming back,” said Jana Cayne.
After four tries with chemo and other therapies, Jana’s cancer did not budge.
“You have high fever, and you’re rushed to the hospital, and you need intravenous antibiotics. The doctor said all my white blood cells were gone, and they weren’t coming back. We were all just kind of struggling to figure out what to do,” she said.
Jana became one of the first in the U.S. to use the drug Bendamustine.
“It appears to work when those other drugs don’t work,” said Dr. Bruce Cheson, Georgetown University Medical Center.
Dr. Cheson used the chemo drug on Jana for six months. It changed the DNA in her cancer cells.
“It affects the lymphoma’s cell ability to reproduce,” he said.
Jana is now in remission.
Bendamustine was developed in East Germany, behind the iron curtain in the sixties. It’s only been FDA-approved in the U.S. in the last two years.
Non-Hodgkin’s lymphomas can occur at any age and are often marked by fever, weight loss and lymph nodes that are larger than normal.