The effect of IgVH mutational status on the induction of apoptosis by rituximab in patients with heavily pretreated B-cell chronic lymphocytic leukemia: evidence from a clinical phase I/II trial

Haematologica. 2006 Sep;91(9):1291-3.


We investigated tumor cell apoptosis in vivo in 14 heavily pretreated patients with B-cell chronic lymphocytic leukemia undergoing rituximab monotherapy. Apoptosis induction was more pronounced in patients with mutated IgVH genes than in those with unmutated IgVH genes, independently of the levels of expression of CD20, CD38, and ZAP-70 and of the presence of 17p deletion. Our results suggest an association between IgVH gene mutational status and rituximab-induced apoptosis.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial, Phase I
  • Clinical Trial, Phase II
  • Letter
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Antibodies, Monoclonal / therapeutic use*
  • Antibodies, Monoclonal, Murine-Derived
  • Apoptosis / drug effects*
  • Apoptosis / immunology
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Immunoglobulin Heavy Chains / genetics*
  • Immunoglobulin Variable Region / genetics*
  • Leukemia, Lymphocytic, Chronic, B-Cell / drug therapy*
  • Leukemia, Lymphocytic, Chronic, B-Cell / immunology
  • Leukemia, Lymphocytic, Chronic, B-Cell / pathology
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Rituximab
  • Somatic Hypermutation, Immunoglobulin


  • Antibodies, Monoclonal
  • Antibodies, Monoclonal, Murine-Derived
  • Immunoglobulin Heavy Chains
  • Immunoglobulin Variable Region
  • Rituximab