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Int J Hematol. 2002 Dec;76(5):385-93.

Monoclonal antibody therapy for B-cell lymphoma.

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Neoplastic and Autoimmune Diseases Research Institute, Rancho Santa Fe, California 92067, USA.


Treatment strategies and outcomes for patients with non-Hodgkin's lymphoma (NHL) are undergoing rapid and important evolution. We have recently witnessed the advent of novel targeted therapies, such as gene therapies, active immunotherapies, antisense therapies, new small molecules and biologicals, and monoclonal antibodies (MoAbs). The first MoAb approved for the treatment of cancer, rituximab, was approved in 1997 and has been rapidly incorporated into treatment regimens for NHL. In a randomized trial in combination with CHOP chemotherapy (cyclophosphamide, hydroxydaunomycin, vincristine, and prednisone), rituximab showed superiority to CHOP for patients with diffuse large cell NHL (DLCL).The rituximab + CHOP combination has become the gold standard for frontline therapy for DLCL and has shown significant activity in the management of follicular NHL. In February 2002, the first radioimmunotherapeutic agent for the treatment of cancer, ibritumomab tiuxetan (Zevalin), was approved. Ibritumomab tiuxetan, an yttrium-labeled antibody used in conjunction with rituximab, has significant activity in follicular and transformed NHL. Use of rituximab has proved that antibodies are safe and active even as single agents. The results have helped dispel the negativity and biases resulting from many years of disappointing results in this important area of research. Results with rituximab have opened the doors to continued research and have provided the impetus necessary for renewed enthusiasm and optimism in continuing the search for curative regimens for patients with NHL.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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