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      Expanded use of rituximab in the management of non-Hodgkin lymphoma

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          Abstract

          Rituximab is a chimeric monoclonal antibody targeting the B cell antigen CD20. Since its first approval for clinical use in 1997, rituximab has become an inherent part of the treatment of CD20-positive lymphoma. In previously untreated non-Hodgkin lymphoma (NHL) conventional chemotherapy supplemented by rituximab (R-chemotherapy) was shown to be more effective than chemotherapy alone. This holds true for indolent as well as aggressive NHL. Rituximab was also shown to be beneficial when used as maintenance therapy or part of salvage and re-induction regimens in relapsed NHL. Administration of rituximab is generally well tolerated. The most common side effects including fever, urticaria and bronchospasm are mostly mild, treatable and restricted to the infusion period. Thus, rituximab can usually be administered in an outpatient setting. Due to its favorable effect/side effect ratio, clinical trials are currently evaluating a possible role for rituximab in several other diseases such as Hodgkin lymphoma (HL) and non-malignant autoimmune disorders. This review aims at giving an overview of the pharmacological properties of rituximab and summarizing key publications and recent literature on its use in NHL.

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          Author and article information

          Journal
          Onco Targets Ther
          OncoTargets and Therapy
          OncoTargets and therapy
          Dove Medical Press
          1178-6930
          2009
          18 February 2009
          : 2
          : 189-197
          Affiliations
          [1 ]First Department of Internal Medicine, University Hospital Cologne, Cologne, Germany;
          [2 ]pioh – Praxis Internistischer Onkologie und Häematologie Kölnerstr. g, Frechen, Germany
          Author notes
          Correspondence: Holger Schulz, pioh – Praxis Internistischer Onkologie und Häematologie Kölnerstr. g, 50226, Frechen, Germany, Tel +49 02234-99959-0, Fax +49 02234-99959-25, Email hschulz@ 123456pioh.de
          Article
          ott-2-189
          2886316
          20616906
          © 2009 Eichenauer et al, publisher and licensee Dove Medical Press Ltd.

          This is an Open Access article which permits unrestricted noncommercial use, provided the original work is properly cited.

          Categories
          Review

          Oncology & Radiotherapy

          non-hodgkin lymphoma, immunochemotherapy, rituximab

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