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Thursday 01 November 2001

Monotherapy with rituximab induces rapid remission of recurrent cold agglutinin-mediated hemolytic anemia in a patient with indolent lympho-plasmacytic lymphoma.

By: Cohen Y, Polliack A, Zelig O, Goldfarb A.

Leuk Lymphoma 2001 Nov-Dec;42(6):1405-8

Cold agglutinin mediated immune hemolytic anemia secondary to lymphoproliferative disease (LPD), is primarily treated with measures directed to eliminate the malignant clone and as such, chemotherapy is usually given. The recent availability of monoclonal antibodies, has made it feasible to obtain both a clinical and molecular remission, as well as a remission on the functional level, such as elimination of secondary autoimmune phenomena. Recently we have administered a course of monotherapy with rituximab (4 weekly injections, x 375 mg/m2) to a patient with refractory and transfusion dependent cold agglutinin mediated hemolytic anemia secondary to indolent B-cell lymphoma. She achieved complete remission with a significant improvement in hemolysis and also became transfusion independent with a current follow-up of over one year. In individual cases, Rituximab has the potential of achieving not only a complete clinical remission (CR) but also a molecular CR, as well as a "functional" CR, by eliminating the clinical manifestations of autoimmunity; in this case, cold agglutinin mediated hemolytic anemia, secondary to NHL. Good results in autoimmunity secondary to lymphoma raises the possibility of future potential benefit of this agent in other primary autoimmune disorders.

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