COMPARATIVE STUDY
JOURNAL ARTICLE

Rituximab combined with conventional therapy versus conventional therapy alone for the treatment of mucous membrane pemphigoid (MMP)

Alexander Maley, Maxine Warren, Ilyse Haberman, Robert Swerlick, Bhairavi Kharod-Dholakia, Ron Feldman
Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology 2016, 74 (5): 835-40
26936298

BACKGROUND: The use of rituximab for refractory autoimmune blistering diseases is increasing. Data related to rituximab for the treatment of mucous membrane pemphigoid (MMP) are limited.

OBJECTIVE: We sought to compare the efficacy of adding rituximab with traditional immunosuppressive therapies in the treatment of MMP. The primary outcome was achievement and time to disease control.

METHODS: Patients with a diagnosis of MMP from August 2001 to June 2015 who had greater than 6 months of follow-up after the initiation of therapy were reviewed.

RESULTS: In all, 24 patients were treated with rituximab and 25 were treated with conventional immunosuppression. Of patients, 100% in the rituximab group achieved disease control compared with 40% in the conventional group (P < .01), with a mean time to disease control of 10.17 months and 37.7 months (P = .02). Adverse events were seen in 33% of patients after rituximab, compared with 48% of patients in the conventional group (P = .2).

LIMITATIONS: Rituximab dosing was not uniform and the 2 groups were not matched in terms of disease severity, nor were they randomized.

CONCLUSIONS: Our study indicates that the addition of rituximab to conventional therapy in patients with MMP results in more rapid and sustained disease control with potentially fewer adverse events.

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