Rituximab

As CLL cells express CD20, there is a rationale to treat the disease with the anti-CD20 monoclonal antibody rituximab. In one study, 44 untreated but symptomatic patients were treated with rituximab 375 mg/m2 weekly for 4 weeks. The response rate was 51%, but only 4% of patients achieved a CR after the first course.5 With additional courses administered every 6 months, the remission rate improved to 59%, but with only a 9% CR rate. The median PFS was 18.6 months.

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