What is the role of rituximab in the treatment of acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL)?

Updated: Jun 20, 2019
  • Author: Karen Seiter, MD; Chief Editor: Emmanuel C Besa, MD  more...
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Answer

Patients with CD20+ lymphoblasts benefit from the addition of rituximab. Maury et al randomly assigned adults (18 to 59 years of age) with CD20-positive, Philadelphia chromosome (Ph)–negative  (Ph-) ALL to receive chemotherapy with or without rituximab, with event-free survival as the primary end point [33] . Rituximab was given during all treatment phases, for a total of 16 to 18 infusions. After a median follow-up of 30 months, event-free survival was longer in the rituximab group than in the control group (hazard ratio, 0.66; 95% confidence interval, 0.45 to 0.98; P=0.04), and the estimated 2-year event-free survival rates were 65% and 52%, respectively.


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