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Thursday 01 May 2003

Loss of CD20 expression in relapsed lymphomas after rituximab therapy.

By: Haidar JH, Shamseddine A, Salem Z, Mrad YA, Nasr MR, Zaatari G, Bazarbachi A.

Eur J Haematol 2003 May;70(5):330-2

The response rate at relapse to rituximab in prior responders B-cell non-Hodgkin's lymphoma (NHL) patients is below 50%. Loss of CD20 expression after rituximab therapy may explain this secondary resistance. However, the frequency of CD20 negative relapses cannot be assessed since most patients that relapsed after rituximab therapy have not been re-biopsied. Here, we present two patients with CD20 positive low grade B-cell NHL that lost the cell surface and cytoplasmic expression at relapse after rituximab therapy. Our findings suggest that confirmation of CD20 expression on the malignant B cells is required whenever rituximab therapy is considered.

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