Rituximab is a monoclonal antibody directed against the CD20 antigen, which is expressed on the surface of mature B lymphocytes and on more than 90% of malignant B cells. Hitherto, the most important indication for rituximab has been the treatment of low-grade non-Hodgkin's lymphoma. In these diseases the overall response rate is 50-70% after four infusions of rituximab given over three weeks. In elderly patients with high-grade, large-cell B-cell lymphoma, a significant prolongation of life was observed when standard chemotherapy was combined with rituximab. Moreover, the effect of rituximab has been excellent in the treatment of hairy cell leukaemia and Waldenström's macroglobulinemia in cases refractory to chemotherapy. In benign autoimmune haematological diseases rituximab is a promising new treatment potential when conventional treatment fails. New trials are warranted to define the clinical indications for the use of rituximab, in which the "chemo-saving" effect may decrease the incidence of secondary malignancies in the future.
|Bidragets oversatte titel||Rituximab: A monoclonal CD20 antibody - Haematological indications and possible treatments for immunoinflammatory diseases|
|Tidsskrift||Ugeskrift for laeger|
|Status||Udgivet - 2 feb. 2004|