Patient Stories

Denyse ClarkeA 43-year-old “soccer mom” with three children and a busy career, Denyse Clark was diagnosed with low-grade NHL following a routine outpatient hernia operation. Her tumors initially responded to chemotherapy. However, six months after treatment, Denyse’s disease was again growing. Hearing about Rituxan as part of a NHL newsgroup, Denyse convinced her oncologist to let her try that therapy. She responded and remained in partial remission for 14 months, even taking her children to New York for an unforgettable Christmas vacation. Shortly afterward, her disease returned and she again responded to Rituxan. When Denyse relapsed a second time, news about ZEVALIN™ (Ibtritumomab Tiuxetan) obtained through her NHL newsgroup convinced her to participate in a Phase III clinical trial of that therapy. Denyse underwent treatment just before Thanksgiving of 2000, and within a month her tumors had already shrunk by over 50%.. After being in remission from NHL for approximately one year, Denyse relapsed again, Currently, she is being treated with Rituxan®.

Mary Colclasureinitially received CHOP (Cyclophosphamide, Doxorubicin, Vincristine and Prednisone), which is combination chemotherapy for her disease, but relapsed one year after treatment. Determined to participate in a clinical trial, both to have a chance at benefiting from a new therapy and to have her experience benefit other patients, she thoroughly researched a wide variety of possible treatment options across the United States. After talking with the head of the National Bone Marrow Donor Program, she decided to try an antibody-based therapy. In 1998, Mary ultimately enrolled in a Phase II clinical trial of ZEVALIN at the Mayo Clinic, where she had been initially treated for her disease. Her cancer responded very quickly to both the Rituxan pretreatment and to ZEVALIN, and she experienced a complete response. She remains in remission today.
William ShortIn early 1998, William Short was looking for a ray of hope. His youngest daughter was getting married in April. But in January he had again relapsed from his intermediate grade NHL only a month after undergoing a stem cell transplant. Having already received radiation and six different chemotherapy regimens since his original diagnosis in 1992, William had few options left. His doctor suggested trying a recently approved therapy called Rituxan, and after undergoing a total of 13 infusions with the antibody, his disease responded to the treatment. As a result, he was not only able to attend his daughter’s wedding, he was able to walk her down the aisle. In December 1998, William’s disease once again returned. This time, he was able to try an investigational therapy that combined Rituxan with an antibody delivering yttrium-based radiation-ZEVALIN. He once again responded to treatment and as of December 1999, remains in remission. This last treatment also allowed William Short to achieve another personal milestone-the birth in October of his oldest daughter’s new son.