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Monday 01 April 2002

Beyond immunochemotherapy: combinations of rituximab with cytokines interferon-alpha2a and granulocyte colony stimulating factor [corrected].

By: Kimby E.

Semin Oncol 2002 Apr;29(2 Suppl 6):7-10

Monotherapy with the human-mouse chimeric anti-CD20 monoclonal antibody rituximab is effective and well tolerated in the treatment of indolent non-Hodgkin's lymphoma, but the majority of patients relapse. The combination of chemotherapeutic agents with rituximab results in greater efficacy, but at the cost of the increased toxicity associated with chemotherapy. To increase the efficacy of rituximab without compromising tolerability, the cytokines interferon-alpha2a, which has multiple immunomodulatory effects and enhances antibody-dependent cell-mediated cytotoxicity, and the granulocyte-colony stimulating factor, which enhances antibody-dependent cell-mediated cytotoxicity by neutrophils, have been combined with rituximab. In a randomized comparative study in patients with relapsed or untreated indolent non-Hodgkin's lymphoma, the addition of interferon-alpha2a significantly increased responsiveness to a second course of rituximab in patients with a partial response or minor response to an initial course of rituximab monotherapy. In a single-arm study in 20 patients with relapsed disease, the combination of granulocyte-colony stimulating factor with rituximab resulted in a longer duration of response than normally seen with rituximab monotherapy. In both studies, no significant increase in adverse events compared with rituximab monotherapy was reported. Currently available data suggest that the combination of rituximab with immunomodulatory cytokines result in increased efficacy without compromising tolerability. Copyright 2002, Elsevier Science (USA). All rights reserved.

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