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Expert Rev Anticancer Ther. 2007 Mar;7(3):257-73.

Rituximab and its role as maintenance therapy in non-Hodgkin lymphoma.

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Tulane University School of Medicine, Division of Hematology-Medical Oncology, Tulane Cancer Center, 1430 Tulane Avenue, SL-78, New Orleans, LA 70112, USA.


Since rituximab, a chimeric monoclonal anti-CD20 antibody, was introduced into clinical practice in 1997, data regarding its benefit in terms of response rate, quality of response, progression-free survival and overall survival in B-cell lymphoid malignancies continues to expand. Rituximab has proven to be a relatively well-tolerated drug, with its major side effects being infusion related. Rituximab was approved initially by the US FDA and the European Medicines Agency for relapsed or refractory low-grade or follicular CD20+ B-cell non-Hodgkin lymphomas. Subsequently, its use has been extended to include first-line therapy in low-grade lymphoma as well as the treatment of more aggressive histological subtypes such as diffuse large B-cell lymphoma. In this article, we review the landmark trials that have impacted clinical practice in follicular and diffuse large B-cell lymphomas and the emerging data for use of rituximab as maintenance therapy in non-Hodgkin lymphoma.

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