Anti-CD20 monoclonal antibody (rituximab) in the treatment of pemphigus.
ABSTRACT Pemphigus is a severe autoimmune blistering disorder caused by autoantibodies to desmoglein 1 and 3. The disease course is typically severe, thus requiring multiple immunosuppressive agents. The treatment is still challenging and in some patients with recalcitrant disease, therapies fail and therapeutic options are limited.
To investigate whether depletion of B lymphocytes that are thought to produce disease-causing autoantibodies shows a long-term benefit in pemphigus.
Five patients diagnosed as having pemphigus vulgaris and pemphigus foliaceus were treated with the monoclonal antibody rituximab. Rituximab was administered intravenously at a dosage of 375 mg m(-2) once weekly for 4 weeks.
The treatment was well tolerated and all patients showed a good response over a follow-up period of up to 3 years, allowing immunosuppressive treatment to be reduced or terminated. B-cell depletion persisted for 6-12 months, and in one patient for almost 3 years.
This study highlights the prolonged effect and disease control after one single course of rituximab and further extends the spectrum of treatments of bullous autoimmune disorders.
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ABSTRACT: B-cell-targeted therapy for autoimmune disease emerged from theoretical proposition to practical reality between 1997 and 1998, with the availability of the B-cell-depleting monoclonal antibody rituximab. Since then, a score of autoantibody-associated disorders have been treated, with most convincing evidence of efficacy seen in subjects with rheumatoid arthritis. Several classes of B-cell-targeted agent are now under investigation. From the outset, a major goal of B-cell targeting has been the re-establishment of some form of immunological tolerance. In some subjects, the observed improvement of disease for years following therapy fuels hope that this goal might ultimately be achievable.Nature reviews. Immunology 06/2006; 6(5):394-403. · 33.29 Impact Factor
Article: Rituximab-associated infections.[show abstract] [hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: After more than 10 years of use, rituximab has proven to be remarkably safe. However, accumulated evidence now suggests that under some circumstances it may significantly increase the risk of infections. This risk is difficult to quantify because of confounding factors (namely, concomitant use of immunosuppressive or chemotherapeutic agents and underlying conditions), as well as under-reporting. Increased number of infections has been documented in patients treated with maintenance rituximab for low-grade lymphoma and in patients with concomitant severe immunodeficiency, whether caused by human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection or immunosuppressive agents like fludarabine. From the practical standpoint, the most important infection is hepatitis B reactivation, which may be delayed and result in fulminant liver failure and death. Special care should be placed on screening for hepatitis B virus (HBV) and preemptive antiviral treatment. Some investigators have reported an increase in Pneumocystis pneumonia. Finally, there is increasing evidence of a possible association with progressive multifocal leukoencephalopathy (PML), a lethal encephalitis caused by the polyomavirus JC. This review enumerates the described infectious complications, summarizes the possible underlying mechanisms of the increased risk, and makes recommendations regarding prevention, diagnosis and management.Seminars in Hematology 04/2010; 47(2):187-98. · 3.99 Impact Factor
Article: Effectiveness and side effects of anti-CD20 therapy for autoantibody-mediated blistering skin diseases: A comprehensive survey of 71 consecutive patients from the Initial use to 2007.[show abstract] [hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: In order to examine the efficacy and side effects of the monoclonal antibody anti-CD20 (rituximab) on autoimmune blistering skin diseases, we performed a comprehensive survey of 71 consecutive patients from initial use up to 2007, using the PubMed database. A heterogeneous group of patients, including 51 patients with pemphigus vulgaris, one with pemphigus vegetans, nine with pemphigus foliaceus, five with paraneoplastic pemphigus, four with epidermolysis bullosa acquisita, and one with both bullous pemphigoid and graft vs host disease was included in this survey. Overall the monoclonal antibody seems to be effective in that 69% of patients showed complete response, 25% of patients showed partial response, whereas 6% of patients showed progressive disease. Six deaths occurred in association with the treatment, with four of these deaths in patients with paraneoplastic pemphigus, a disease characteristically resistant to conventional medication and with a high mortality rate. Of note, 11 patients who received combined rituximab and intravenous immune globulin treatments had the best outcome: complete response without any serious side effects. Therefore further investigation on rituximab with controlled clinical trial is a worthy pursuit.Therapeutics and Clinical Risk Management 03/2009; 5(1):1-7.