Rituximab in the treatment of non-Hodgkin's lymphoma—a critical evaluation of randomized controlled trials

Morag Meriel Griffin, Nick Morley
Expert Opinion on Biological Therapy 2013, 13 (5): 803-11

INTRODUCTION: The use of rituximab has led to significant improvements in the outcome of both aggressive and indolent Non-Hodgkin's lymphoma (NHL). It is the first targeted therapy to be developed for the treatment of lymphoma which has been widely adopted.

AREAS COVERED: This paper discusses the use of rituximab in NHL, mainly concentrating on diffuse large B cell lymphoma (DLBCL) and follicular lymphoma (FL), with a brief discussion about use in other types of NHL including mantle cell lymphoma (MCL). The use of rituximab in chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) has been recently published in this journal by Robak (Robak T. Rituximab for chronic lymphocytic Leukemia. Expert Opin Biol. Ther. 2012;12(4):503-15). Non hematological indications for rituximab are also not discussed. A Pubmed search was conducted using key words of rituximab, DLBCL, FL, MCL, Burkitt's lymphoma and MALToma. Papers shortlisted for review included randomized control trials and scientific papers discussing CD20.

EXPERT OPINION: In conclusion this paper has critically evaluated the use of rituximab in the treatment mainly of DLBCL, FL and MCL both at diagnosis and relapsed disease, and briefly discuses its use in other subtypes of lymphoma. Rituximab has significantly improved the outcome of patients with B cell NHL, in particular those with DLBCL and FL. Patients usually tolerate the treatment well, and studies have shown it to be a cost effective treatment.


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