Preclinical and phase I and II trials of rituximab

Semin Oncol. 1999 Oct;26(5 Suppl 14):74-8.


The CD20 antigen is an attractive target for antibody-directed therapy due to its stable, high-level surface expression on normal and malignant B cells. Rituximab (Rituxan; IDEC Pharmaceuticals, San Diego, and Genentech, Inc, San Francisco, CA) is an anti-CD20 chimeric monoclonal antibody that has shown single-agent activity in phase I and II clinical trials in patients with B-cell non-Hodgkin's lymphoma. This antibody has a long serum half-life and low immunogenicity. Infusional symptoms are common with the initial infusion but rare with subsequent treatments. Temporary B-cell depletion occurs but has not been associated with immunodeficiency. The mechanism of action likely includes both immune-mediated effects and direct effects. The generally mild toxicity profile and excellent single-agent activity provide the rationale for use with or following chemotherapy. Additional studies evaluating these and other combinations are under way.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Antibodies, Monoclonal / therapeutic use*
  • Antibodies, Monoclonal, Murine-Derived
  • Antigens, CD20
  • Antineoplastic Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Clinical Trials, Phase I as Topic
  • Clinical Trials, Phase II as Topic
  • Drug Evaluation, Preclinical
  • Humans
  • Lymphoma, B-Cell / drug therapy*
  • Lymphoma, B-Cell / immunology
  • Rituximab


  • Antibodies, Monoclonal
  • Antibodies, Monoclonal, Murine-Derived
  • Antigens, CD20
  • Antineoplastic Agents
  • Rituximab