Rituxan and Rituxan with Gemcitabine for Hodgkin’s Disease – pro

According to results recently published in the journal Blood, Rituxan® (rituximab) appears to be a promising agent in the treatment of some patients with recurrent Hodgkin’s. Rituxan® is a monoclonal antibody approved for treatment of non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma (NHL) and binds to an antigen called CD 20. A small subset of patients with Hodgkin’s lymphoma (3% to 8%) has a type of cancer called CD 20 lymphocyte predominant Hodgkin’s lymphoma, characterized by a large proportion of their cancer cells expressing CD 20. Patients with CD 20 lymphocyte predominant Hodgkin’s lymphoma tend to have a higher rate of recurrence following standard therapy than other patients with Hodgkin’s lymphoma.

NCCN on p HODG-E says that Rituxan should be considered for all patients with relapsed Hodgkin’s disease. It recommends it with ABVD for Lymphocyte Predominant Hodgkin’s in first line. It does not address other chemo combinations with Rituxan.

Gemcitabine has also  been combined with Rituxin and with rituximab and other drugs in studies for relapsed Hodgkin’s. These two drugs together in several phase II  studies appear to be “mildly” active and well tolerated.

D. Re, R. K. Thomas, K. Behringer, and V. Diehl
From Hodgkin disease to Hodgkin lymphoma: biologic insights and therapeutic potential
Blood, June 15, 2005; 105(12): 4553 – 4560.

Yasuhiro Oki MD, Barbara Pro MD et al, study of gemcitabine in combination with rituximab in patients with recurrent or refractory Hodgkin lymphoma†
Cancer Volume 112, Issue 4, pages 831–836, 15 February 2008

Oki Y, Younes A. Does rituximab have a place in treating classic hodgkin lymphoma?Curr Hematol Malig Rep. 2010 Jul;5(3):135-9

P. Validire, C. Fermé, P. Brice, M. Diviné, J. Gabarre, K. Bouabdallah, O. Fitoussi, D. Chaoui, C. Soussain, P. Carde, D. Decaudin  A large multicentric study of gemcitabine-based regimen in relapsed or refractory Hodgkin lymphoma (HL) patients (pts).   Print this page
Journal of Clinical Oncology, 2007 ASCO Annual Meeting Proceedings Part I. Vol 25, No. 18S (June 20 Supplement), 2007: 18518

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