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Sunday 01 December 2002

Retreatment with rituximab alone induces sustained remission in a patient with follicular lymphoma with multiple extranodal sites of involvement, relapsing soon after primary treatment with fludarabine-rituximab.

By: Cohen Y, Libster D, Da'as N, Amir G, Polliack A.

Hematol J 2003;4(2):151-3

Two recent studies have shown that retreatment of patients with relapsed indolent NHL with rituximab (RI) can be as effective as primary treatment, provided the lymphoma was initially responsive to primary RI therapy. From the available data, it remains unknown as to whether this approach is also effective for extranodal relapse. Here, we describe a 47-year-old male with stage 4B follicular lymphoma (FL), initially also involving skin, who achieved complete remission (CR) after a combination of fludarabine, cyclophosphamide and RI that lasted only 5 months. He soon relapsed with systemic disease and a number of extranodal sites including liver, lungs and bone marrow. After retreatment with RI alone (four cycles, 375 mg/m(2)), the patient achieved a second CR. Another four infusions of RI were given 6 months later as maintenance therapy. The duration of CR is already 18 months longer than the first CR. This case illustrates the fact that even in relapsed advanced FL, with multiple sites of extranodal disease, RI given as a single agent may be extremely effective in achieving an additional meaningful complete response.

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