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Br J Haematol. 2001 Sep;114(4):881-3.

Loss of CD20 expression following treatment with rituximab (chimaeric monoclonal anti-CD20): a retrospective cohort analysis.

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Imperial Cancer Research Fund Medical Oncology Unit, St. Bartholomew's Hospital, London, UK.


A retrospective analysis of CD20 expression following rituximab for B-cell non-Hodgkin's lymphoma demonstrated a significant change in immunophenotype in 6/25 (24%) patients with persistent bone marrow (BM) infiltration. In three out of six patients, the B cells were uniformly CD20-/CD79alpha+, consistent with frank loss of CD20 expression. In the remaining three cases, the BM infiltrate was predominantly (> 80%) CD20-/CD79alpha+. Two of the former but none of the latter three cases achieved a clinical response. In three further cases, the post-treatment BM infiltrate was composed entirely of benign or reactive CD3+ T cells. Frank loss of CD20 was not seen in 25 post-treatment lymph node biopsies. Immunophenotyping is therefore an important adjunct in the diagnosis of BM infiltration following rituximab.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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