Rituximab for the treatment of corticosteroid-refractory chronic graft-versus-host disease

Center for Cellular and Molecular Medicine, Kyushu University Graduate School of Medical Science, 3-1-1 Maidashi, Higashi-ku, Fukuoka, Japan.
International journal of hematology (Impact Factor: 1.92). 07/2009; 90(2):253-60. DOI: 10.1007/s12185-009-0370-x
Source: PubMed


We prospectively evaluated the safety and efficacy of the anti-CD20 chimeric monoclonal antibody rituximab for the treatment of corticosteroid-refractory chronic graft-versus-host disease (GVHD) after allogeneic hematopoietic stem cell transplantation. Seven patients were treated with 375 mg/m(2) rituximab weekly for 4 consecutive weeks. Rituximab was well tolerated with no severe toxicity observed during treatment. At 1 year, 3 patients showed a partial response to rituximab therapy, 3 had stable disease, and 1 had progressive disease. Rituximab allowed a reduction in the dose of steroids in 4 patients. Responsive manifestations included mild to moderate skin and oral lesions, and immune hemolytic anemia, and thrombocytopenia. Severe manifestations involving the skin, fascia, and eye did not respond to treatment. These observations suggest that rituximab therapy may be effective for select patients with corticosteroid-refractory chronic GVHD that is not advanced.

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    • "Primarily in cases of dermatologic and mucosal involvement, rituximab is used as an effective treatment of corticosteroid-refractory chronic GVHD with good responses. Few studies have demonstrated that posttransplant administration of rituximab appears to reduce the rate of chronic GVHD.[57] "
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    ABSTRACT: Rituximab is a monoclonal therapeutic anti-CD20 antibody that has been approved for use in lymphoma and rheumatoid arthritis. Over the past decade several reports based on case series and observational studies have recorded the benefits of rituximab in particular groups of dermatological patients. Off-label use of rituximab in many dermatological indications is not uncommon in many countries in the world. This article reviews the available data that may be of use to the practicing dermatologist. Because of its potential complications, paucity of clinical data, and cost considerations, rituximab is favoured only when standard systemic therapies fail or corticosteroids are absolutely contraindicated. Further research is required in this field.
    No preview · Article · Jul 2014
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    • "The pathogenic role of B lymphocytes was highlighted in renal, cardiac, liver or pancreas transplantation, justifying B-cell depletion with RTX.46–48 Allogeneic hematopoietic stem cell transplantation may induce acute or chronic destruction of the host by the donor’s immune system. Whilst pathogenic mechanisms involved in these phenomena are not clearly understood, RTX therapy may be effective for some patients (Table 1).49 "
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    ABSTRACT: The view that B lymphocytes are pathogenic in diverse pathological settings is supported by the efficacy of B-cell-ablative therapy in lymphoproliferative disorders, autoimmune diseases and graft rejection. Anti-B-cell antibodies (Abs) directed against CD20 have therefore been generated, and of these, rituximab was the first anti-CD20 monoclonal Ab (mAb) to be applied. Rituximab-mediated apoptosis, complement-dependent cytotoxicity and Ab-dependent cellular cytotoxicity differ from one disease to another, and, for the same disease, from one patient to another. This knowledge has prompted the development of new anti-CD20 mAbs in the hope of improving B-cell depletion. The inclusion of CD20/anti-CD20 complexes in large lipid rafts (LRs) enhances the results of some, but not all, anti-CD20 mAbs, and it may be possible to include smaller LRs. Lipid contents of membrane may be abnormal in malignant B-cells, and could explain resistance to treatment. The function of these mAbs and the importance of LRs warrant further investigation. A detailed understanding of them will increase results for B-cell depletion in lymphoproliferative diseases.
    Full-text · Article · Jun 2010 · OncoTargets and Therapy
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    ABSTRACT: Allogeneic hematopoietic stem cell transplantation is an established treatment modality for malignant and nonmalignant hematologic diseases. Acute and chronic graft-versus-host diseases (GVHDs) are a major cause of morbidity and mortality after allogeneic stem cell transplantation. T cells have been identified as key players in the graft-versus-host reaction and, therefore, most established drugs used against GVHD target T cells. Despite our knowledge on the pathogenesis of the GVH reaction, success of established therapies for prevention and treatment of GHVD is unsatisfactory. Recently, animal and human studies demonstrated that B cells are involved in the immunopathophysiology of acute and chronic GVHD. Early phase clinical trials of B-cell depletion with rituximab have shown beneficial effects on both acute and chronic GVHD. This review summarizes the current experimental and clinical evidence for the involvement of B cells in the pathogenesis of acute and chronic GVHD and discusses the clinical implications for the management of patients undergoing allogeneic stem cell transplantation.
    No preview · Article · Sep 2009 · Blood
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