Re-treatment of relapsed indolent B-cell lymphoma with rituximab

Int J Hematol. 2001 Feb;73(2):213-21. doi: 10.1007/BF02981940.


The purpose of this study was to investigate the toxicity and the efficacy of re-treatment with rituximab, a chimeric mouse human anti-CD20 monoclonal antibody, in relapsed patients with indolent B-cell non-Hodgkin's lymphoma (NHL) who responded to rituximab in the previous phase I or phase II study. Thirteen patients with relapsed B-cell NHL, each of whom was confirmed to have Revised European-American Lymphoma Classification type II, 1-6 histology (indolent B-NHL), enrolled in this re-treatment study. All were re-treated with rituximab at 375 mg/m2 weekly for 4 consecutive weeks. Rituximab re-treatment was well tolerated with no grade 3/4 nonhematological toxicities, similar to that of the initial treatment. No patients developed detectable human anti-chimeric antibody. Partial responses were observed in 5 of 13 patients (38%; 95% confidence interval [CI], 14% to 68%); 6 patients showed stable disease and 2 showed progressive disease. Overall survival rate was 93% at 19 months of median follow-up after rituximab re-treatment. Median progression-free survival (PFS) after the re-treatment was 5.1 months (95% CI, 4.1 to 5.6 months), and the median PFS after the initial treatment was 8.2 months (95%CI, 5.9 to 11.3 months). Although rituximab re-treatment induced prolonged depletion of normal peripheral blood B cells in all patients, no significant decrease in serum immunoglobulin or complement level was observed. In conclusion, rituximab re-treatment was well tolerated, and it may produce a prolonged PFS in some patients with indolent B-cell NHL who showed initial response to rituximab.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Antibodies, Monoclonal / administration & dosage*
  • Antibodies, Monoclonal / toxicity
  • Antibodies, Monoclonal, Murine-Derived
  • Antineoplastic Agents / administration & dosage
  • Antineoplastic Agents / toxicity
  • B-Lymphocytes / cytology
  • Complement System Proteins / analysis
  • Disease-Free Survival
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Immunoglobulins / blood
  • Infections / etiology
  • Lymphocyte Count
  • Lymphoma, B-Cell / complications
  • Lymphoma, B-Cell / drug therapy*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Recurrence
  • Rituximab
  • T-Lymphocytes / cytology
  • Treatment Outcome


  • Antibodies, Monoclonal
  • Antibodies, Monoclonal, Murine-Derived
  • Antineoplastic Agents
  • Immunoglobulins
  • Rituximab
  • Complement System Proteins