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Monoclonal anti-CD20 antibody rituximab for treatment of CD20-positive Hodgkins lymphoma The German experience



Monoclonal anti-CD20 antibody rituximab for treatment of CD20-positive Hodgkins lymphoma The German experience



Blood 96(11 Part 1): 729a, November 16



Rationale: Response rates up to 50% have been observed in patients (pts) with relapsed CD20-positive non-Hodgkin's lymphoma after treatment with the chimeric monoclonal anti-CD20 antibody rituximab. The malignant cell population in lymphocyte predominant Hodgkin's disease (LPHD) also express the CD20 antigen in high density, while only 20% of all Hodgkin-Reed-Sternberg cells in classical Hodgkin's disease (HD) are CD20-positive. Objectives: This phase II study investigates safety and efficacy of 4 X 375mg/m2rituximab in pts with relapsed LPHD or CD20-positive classical HD. Eligibility criteria included expression of the CD20-antigen on more than 30% of all malignant cells; histological slides had to be reviewed by a reference panel. Results: Six pts (five males, one female) have been treated so far (6/00): median age was 37 years (yrs) (26-52 yrs), median time since first diagnosis was 3 yrs (1.7-5.9 yrs). All pts had at least one prior chemotherapy: all five pts with LPHD were in first relapse, while the HD patient had been treated with two previous therapeutic regimens, including autologous peripheral stem cell transplantation. With 375mg/m2rituximab weekly times four toxicity was moderate and transient. Side effects comprised chills, fever, and hypotension. At 5 months of median follow-up (1-9 months), response rates were 100% (4 CR, 1 PR) for pts with relapsed LPHD. The patient with the relapsed classical HD is in CR 10 months after end of therapy. Conclusion: Application of rituximab to pts with LPHD or CD20-positive classical HD is safe and feasible. This preliminary data suggests high efficacy with response rates up to 100%. Longer follow-up is necessary. Since the number of pts with LPHD and CD20-positive classical HD is small, international cooperation has been started.

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Accession: 035339545

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