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How is rituximab used for lymphoma?

Rituximab is an antibody drug treatment that turns a person’s immune system against lymphatic cancer cells. These antibodies represent a more rational, targeted approach to killing the cancer cells without the side effects of chemotherapy.

When rituximab was approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration as an antibody treatment for B-cell lymphomas in 1998, it represented a major breakthrough. “The survival rates for the most common lymphomas have gone up dramatically with this drug,” Lauren Pinter-Brown, MD, director of the UCLA Lymphoma Program, says. “It has had a huge impact on these patients.”

But Dr. Pinter-Brown notes that some lymphomas are resistant to the drug, necessitating the development of additional antibodies.

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