Rituxumab for lung involvement of scleroderma – pro

Rituximab is an agent with a variety of immunologic effects mediated thorugh its effects on B-lymphocytes. Unfortunately, there is no effective therapy for severe interstitial lung disease associated with connective tissue disease (CTD-ILD), progressing despite maximal conventional immunosuppression. Two observational studies, one with 8 and one with 15 patients revealed conflicting results. One very small prospective study with 8 patients who received rituximab and six who had not had been performed and revealed encouraging results(Daoussius et al). These remain preliminary findings and more research clearly is required.

 Keir GJ, Maher TM, Hansell DM, Denton CP, Ong VH, Singh S, Wells AU, Renzoni EA

Severe interstitial lung disease in connective tissue disease: rituximab as rescue therapy.

Eur Respir J. 2012 Sep;40(3):641-8.
Daoussis D, Liossis SN, Tsamandas AC, Kalogeropoulou C, Kazantzi A, Sirinian C, Karampetsou M, Yiannopoulos G, Andonopoulos AP Experience with rituximab in scleroderma: results from a 1-year, proof-of-principle study.Rheumatology (Oxford). 2010;49(2):271
Lafyatis R, Kissin E, York M, Farina G, Viger K, Fritzler MJ, Merkel PA, Simms RW
B cell depletion with rituximab in patients with diffuse cutaneous systemic sclerosis. Arthritis Rheum. 2009;60(2):578.
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