Current status of monoclonal antibody therapy for chronic lymphocytic leukemia

Oncology (Williston Park). 2003 Feb;17(2):253-62; discussion 264, 267, passim.


Despite many therapeutic options for chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL), the disease remains incurable. Since monoclonal antibodies and recombinant toxins that bind surface antigens expressed on the malignant lymphocytes have been developed, targeted therapy has become a vital option in treating CLL. Rituximab (Rituxan), a chimeric human-mouse anti-CD20 antibody, and alemtuzumab (Campath), a humanized anti-CD52 monoclonal antibody, have both shown activity in CLL--as single agents and in combination with conventional chemotherapy. The possibility of combining antibodies has been explored as well, with some efficacy. In this review, we discuss the clinical data on the activity of commercially available antibodies in CLL, both as monotherapy and in combination with other agents.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Antibodies, Monoclonal / administration & dosage
  • Antibodies, Monoclonal / therapeutic use*
  • Antineoplastic Agents / administration & dosage
  • Antineoplastic Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Clinical Trials as Topic
  • Disease-Free Survival
  • Humans
  • Leukemia, Lymphocytic, Chronic, B-Cell / diagnosis
  • Leukemia, Lymphocytic, Chronic, B-Cell / drug therapy*
  • Leukemia, Lymphocytic, Chronic, B-Cell / mortality
  • Neoplasm Staging
  • Prognosis


  • Antibodies, Monoclonal
  • Antineoplastic Agents