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Tuesday 01 April 2003

Position paper on the therapeutic use of rituximab in CD20-positive diffuse large B-cell non-Hodgkin's lymphoma.

By: Pettengell R, Linch D; Haemato-Oncology Task Force of the British Committee for Standards in Haematology.

Br J Haematol 2003 Apr;121(1):44-8

The available data on rituximab in combination with chemotherapy confirm that the addition of an independently active biological agent to full-dose standard chemotherapy results in higher rates of complete response, lower rates of relapse, prolonged survival, little additional toxicity and no compromise of the dose intensity of standard chemotherapy regardless of age and risk group. Given the strength of these data, the British Committee for Standards in Haematology believes that rituximab should be available for prescription by UK haematologists and oncologists according to its licensed indication in patients with diffuse large B-cell lymphoma until further data are available to confirm or refute these results. We consider that the use of rituximab with chemotherapy in aggressive lymphoma is cost-effective and that failure to support its introduction will be strongly in conflict with professional and patient opinion.

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