Author(s): Zaja F, Bacigalupo A, Patriarca F, Stanzani M, Van Lint MT, , Zaja F, Bacigalupo A, Patriarca F, Stanzani M, Van Lint MT,
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Abstract The anti-CD20 chimaeric monoclonal antibody Rituximab has recently been shown to induce significant clinical response in a proportion of patients with refractory chronic graft-versus-host disease (cGVHD). We now report 38 patients, median age 48 years (22-61), receiving Rituximab for refractory cGVHD, assessed for clinical response and survival. Median duration of cGVHD before Rituximab was 23 months (range 2-116), the median number of failed treatment lines was 3 (range 1 to > or =6) and the median follow-up after Rituximab was 11 months (1-88). Overall response rate was 65\%: skin 17/20 (63\%), mouth 10/21 (48\%), eyes 6/14 (43\%), liver 3/12 (25\%), lung 3/8 (37.5\%), joints 4/5, gut 3/4, thrombocytopaenia 2/3, vagina 0/2, pure red cell aplasia 0/1 and, myasthenia gravis 1/1. During the study period 8/38 died: causes of death were cGVHD progression (n=3), disease relapse (n=1), infection (n=3), sudden death (n=1). The actuarial 2 year survival is currently 76\%. We confirm that Rituximab is effective in over 50\% of patients with refractory cGVHD and may have a beneficial impact on survival.
This article was published in Bone Marrow Transplant
and referenced in Journal of Blood Disorders & Transfusion