Bexxar® is a radiolabeled monoclonal antibody treatment used to treat some types of non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. Lymphoma is cancer of the lymphatic/immune system. Bexxar is approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for people that have received chemotherapy and/or Rituxan® and have not responded to those treatments or have had cancer return. Bexxar may also be used to treat fast-growing types of non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. Bexxar is an intravenous (IV) medication. Bexxar targets and delivers radiation to B-cells, the cells that grow out of control in this type of cancer. Bexxar contains a monoclonal antibody and a radioisotope. The monoclonal antibodies are designed to recognize and attach to a particular part of a B-cell called the CD20 antigen. The CD20 antigen is located on both cancerous and non-cancerous cells. Radioisotopes give off radiation. When delivered intravenously, Bexxar attaches to the CD20 antigen and delivers radiation to the B-cells as well as nearby healthy cells. The exact effectiveness of Bexxar is unknown. Initial studies show that about half of people that were treated with Bexxar responded to the treatment. More studies are underway. Bexxar treatment is not for everyone. Your doctor can let you know if Bexxar is an appropriate option for you. Your doctor will carefully review the risks and benefits of Bexxar. You will receive medication to prevent or reduce side effects from Bexxar prior to your treatments. Bexxar can cause a severe life threatening allergic reaction in some cases. Your medical staff will monitor you for signs of an allergic reaction during your treatments and will provide immediate emergency medical treatment if an allergic reaction occurs.
Bexxar treatment is usually delivered on an outpatient basis during four appointments over one to two weeks. During your first visit, you will receive a test dose of Bexxar. An imaging scan of your body will be taken to determine your individual dose of Bexxar. Your body will be scanned again on your second and third visits. You will receive your final dose of Bexxar on your fourth visit. Bexxar is administered through an IV. Each infusion takes about 1½ hours. You may need to stay a little longer after your IV treatments to be monitored. You may go home following your IV treatments. You will receive specific instructions to avoid exposing others to radiation. Your doctor will monitor your progress with regular tests and imaging scans. The treatment is considered effective if your signs and symptoms of non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma go away or get better.
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This information is intended for educational and informational purposes only. It should not be used in place of an individual consultation or examination or replace the advice of your health care professional and should not be relied upon to determine diagnosis or course of treatment.
The iHealthSpot patient education library was written collaboratively by the iHealthSpot editorial team which includes Senior Medical Author Dr. Mary Car-Blanchard, OTD/OTR/L and the following editorial advisors: Steve Meadows, MD, Ernie F. Soto, DDS, Ronald J. Glatzer, MD, Jonathan Rosenberg, MD, Christopher M. Nolte, MD, David Applebaum, MD, Jonathan M. Tarrash, MD, and Paula Soto, RN/BSN. The library commenced development on September 1, 2005 with the latest update/addition on 8-26-2015.
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