Researchers from the University of Manchester have shown promising results for a new treatment approach in follicular lymphoma, a type of non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma.

For the first time, the researchers assessed the effect of delivering radioimmunotherapy (where a radioactive substance is attached to an antibody) in two doses instead of one, the idea being that this might improve the penetration of the drug within larger tumours and also help reduce side effects associated with a full dose.

The study, which is published in the Journal of Clinical Oncology, saw a high overall response rate of 94.4%, and almost 70% of patients (50 of the 72) treated achieved complete response, i.e. their symptoms disappeared.

"These results are encouraging, but we need further studies in larger numbers of patients to fully compare this treatment to the standard treatment of 6-8 cycles of chemotherapy,” said Professor Tim Illidge, who led the research.

The researchers also said that they found the treatment plan to be feasible and safe, with very few side effects.