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Friday 01 November 2002

Rituximab in B-cell disorders other than non-Hodgkin's lymphoma.

By: Bosly A, Keating MJ, Stasi R, Bradstock K.

Anticancer Drugs 2002 Nov;13 Suppl 2:S25-33

Rituximab is a human/mouse chimeric monoclonal antibody that binds to the CD20 antigen and is expressed at all stages of B-cell development. Rituximab has demonstrated efficacy as monotherapy and in combination with chemotherapy in the treatment of both indolent and aggressive non-Hodgkin's lymphoma (NHL). Rituximab treatment results in rapid depletion of B-cells and this has led to the consideration of other B-cell disorders as candidates for rituximab therapy. Recent studies have demonstrated the efficacy of rituximab in a variety of such disorders, including chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL), post-transplant lymphoproliferative disorder (PTLD), Waldenstrom's macroglobulinemia (WM), multiple myeloma (MM), idiopathic thrombocytopenic purpura (ITP), hairy-cell leukemia (HCL) and cold agglutinin disease (CAD). In patients with CLL, increasing the dose and/or frequency of rituximab treatment has given improved response rates compared with the standard dose schedule used in NHL, and combination immunochemotherapy has yielded an overall response rate of 92% (with a 60% complete response rate). Clinical trials have also demonstrated evidence of efficacy for rituximab in PTLD, WM and relapsed or refractory ITP. Efficacy of rituximab in CAD and relapsed or refractory HCL has also been demonstrated in small studies and case reports. Available data thus indicate that rituximab can be an effective therapy in a wide range of CD20+ lymphoid disorders.

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