Fractionated subcutaneous rituximab is well-tolerated and preserves CD20 expression on tumor cells in patients with chronic lymphocytic leukemia

Haematologica. 2010 Feb;95(2):329-32. doi: 10.3324/haematol.2009.012484. Epub 2009 Aug 13.


A pilot study previously demonstrated that thrice-weekly, fractionated-dose intravenous rituximab (RTX) limits CD20 loss from chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) B cells, thereby enhancing immunotherapeutic targeting. Here, we investigated the feasibility of giving 20 mg rituximab subcutaneously thrice weekly for up to 12 weeks in 4 previously treated CLL patients. Subcutaneous rituximab was well-tolerated with minimal injection site reactions; a variable degree of efficacy was observed, likely influenced by the size of the patients' B cell/CD20 burden. Subcutaneous RTX largely preserved CD20 expression on leukemic cells but the most effective therapeutic dosing regimen needs to be established ( Identifier: NCT00366418).

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial, Phase I
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Intramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Antibodies, Monoclonal / administration & dosage
  • Antibodies, Monoclonal / pharmacology
  • Antibodies, Monoclonal / therapeutic use*
  • Antibodies, Monoclonal, Murine-Derived
  • Antigens, CD20 / genetics*
  • Antineoplastic Agents / administration & dosage
  • Antineoplastic Agents / pharmacology
  • Antineoplastic Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Drug Administration Schedule
  • Female
  • Gene Expression / drug effects*
  • Humans
  • Injections, Subcutaneous
  • Leukemia, Lymphocytic, Chronic, B-Cell / drug therapy*
  • Lymphocyte Count
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Rituximab


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

Associated data