Rituximab therapy in hematologic malignancy patients with circulating blood tumor cells: association with increased infusion-related side effects and rapid blood tumor clearance. (1/2033)

PURPOSE: Rituximab was recently approved for use in relapsed, low-grade non-Hodgkin's lymphoma; however, few data exist regarding the safety of this agent in patients with a high number of tumor cells in the blood. METHODS AND RESULTS: After the observation at our institution of a rapid reduction of peripheral-blood tumor cells with associated severe pulmonary infusion-related toxicity in two patients with refractory hematologic malignancies, data on three additional cases were collected from physician-submitted reports of adverse events related to rituximab treatment. Five patients with hematologic malignancies possessing a high number of blood tumor cells were treated with rituximab and developed rapid tumor clearance. The median age was 68 years (range, 26 to 78 years). Patients were diagnosed with B-cell prolymphocytic leukemia (n = 2), chronic lymphocytic leukemia (n = 2), or transformed non-Hodgkin's lymphoma (n = 1). All of these patients had bulky adenopathy or organomegaly. All five patients developed a unique syndrome of severe infusion-related reactions, thrombocytopenia, rapid decrement in circulating tumor cell load, and mild electrolyte evidence of tumor lysis, and all required hospitalization. In addition, one patient developed ascites. These events resolved, and four patients were subsequently treated with rituximab without significant complications. CONCLUSION: Rituximab administration in patients who have a high number of tumor cells in the blood may have an increased likelihood of severe initial infusion-related reactions. These data also suggest that rituximab may have activity in a variety of other lymphoid neoplasms, such as chronic lymphocytic leukemia and B-cell prolymphocytic leukemia.  (+info)

Therapy of B-cell lymphoma with anti-CD20 antibodies can result in the loss of CD20 antigen expression. (2/2033)

Rituximab is a chimeric antibody with human gamma-1 and kappa constant regions and murine variable regions. It recognizes the CD20 antigen, a pan B-cell marker. Therapeutic trials in patients with B-cell non-Hodgkin's lymphoma (NHL) have shown significant efficacy with a primary response rate of 50%, and a secondary response rate of 44% after repeat treatments in prior responders. The selection for proliferating tumor cells that no longer express CD20 may compromise repeated treatment. We have identified a patient who developed a transformed NHL that lost CD20 protein expression after two courses of therapy with rituximab. In a pretreatment lymph node biopsy, 83% of B cells (as defined by CD19 and surface immunoglobulin) expressed surface CD20. A biopsy from the recurrent tumor after two courses of rituximab revealed a diffuse large cell NHL where 0% of B cells expressed CD20 with no evidence of bound rituximab. Cytoplasmic staining showed no CD20 protein. Sequencing of immunoglobulin heavy chain cDNA identified identical variable sequences in the initial and recurrent lymphomas, confirming the association between the two tumors. Literature and database review suggests that approximately 98% of diffuse large cell lymphomas express CD20, which suggests that these tumors rarely survive without CD20. This is the first identified case of loss of CD20 expression in a lymphoma that has relapsed after rituximab therapy, although several other cases have since been identified. Considering the significant number of patients treated with anti-CD20 antibodies, this may occur only rarely and is unlikely to preclude recurrent therapy with anti-CD20 antibodies in the majority of patients. However, because many patients have relapsed after anti-CD20 antibody therapy and have not been biopsied to identify clones with down-regulated CD20 antigen, we do not currently know the true frequency of this phenomenon. When possible, patients should undergo evaluation for CD20 expression before repeated courses of anti-CD20 therapy.  (+info)

Extended Rituximab (anti-CD20 monoclonal antibody) therapy for relapsed or refractory low-grade or follicular non-Hodgkin's lymphoma. (3/2033)

BACKGROUND: Rituximab is a chimeric monoclonal antibody directed against the B-cell CD20 antigen which has been utilized for therapy of B-cell non-Hodgkin's lymphoma (NHL). A previous clinical trial demonstrated that treatment with four weekly doses of 375 mg/m2 of Rituximab in patients with relapsed or refractory low-grade or follicular B-cell non-Hodgkin's lymphoma was well tolerated and had significant clinical activity. PATIENTS AND METHODS: To assess the safety and efficacy of Rituximab treatment, an open-label, single-arm, multi-center, phase II study of eight consecutive weekly infusions of 375 mg/m2 Rituximab in patients with low-grade or follicular B-cell NHL who had relapsed or had failed primary therapy was conducted. Thirty-seven patients with a median age of 55 years were treated. RESULTS: Grade 1 or 2 adverse events were the majority of reported toxicities and occurred most frequently with the first infusion, decreasing with subsequent infusions. No patients developed a host antibody response (HACA) to Rituximab. The mean serum immunoglobulin levels for IgG, IgA, and IgM stayed within the normal range throughout the study. The majority of patients who were bcl-2 positive at baseline in peripheral blood became bcl-2 negative during treatment and remained negative at the time of B-cell recovery. In the 37 intent-to-treat patients, 5 (14%) had a complete response and 16 (43%) had a partial response for an overall response rate of 57%. Of 35 evaluable patients, 21 (60%) responded to treatment (14% CR and 46% PR). In responders, the median time to progression (TTP) and the median response duration have not been reached after 19.4+ months and 13.4+ months, respectively. CONCLUSIONS: The safety profile and efficacy achieved in this pilot study of extended treatment with Rituximab compares favorably with those seen with four weekly doses. Further studies are warranted to investigate whether this or other extended Rituximab schedules will result in increased efficacy in all or in certain subgroups of patients with low-grade or follicular NHL.  (+info)

Use of Sulesomab, a radiolabeled antibody fragment, to detect osteomyelitis in diabetic patients with foot ulcers by leukoscintigraphy. (4/2033)

Diabetic patients suspected of having osteomyelitis secondary to foot ulcers underwent scintigraphic imaging with Sulesomab, an anti-granulocyte antibody Fab' fragment labeled with technetium-99m. Among 122 patients who had osteomyelitis confirmed or excluded by histopathologic and/or microbiologic techniques, Sulesomab had a 91% sensitivity, a 56% specificity, and an accuracy of 80%. One planar imaging session was usually sufficient for diagnosis, typically requiring 20-30 minutes of camera time 1-2 hours after injection. Compared with ex vivo autologous white blood cell (WBC) scans, Sulesomab performed comparably but with significantly greater sensitivity (92% vs. 79%; P < .05). Sulesomab results were more sensitive than radiography (90% vs. 62%; P < .05) and more specific than bone scans (50% vs. 21%; P < .05) and would have altered management plans in most patients. No related adverse events occurred, and there was no induction of human anti-mouse antibody. Sulesomab is an effective and rapid imaging agent that is diagnostically comparable or superior to WBC scans in this setting, with significant advantages in safety and ease of use.  (+info)

Treatment of patients with low-grade B-cell lymphoma with the combination of chimeric anti-CD20 monoclonal antibody and CHOP chemotherapy. (5/2033)

PURPOSE: To determine the safety and efficacy of the combination of the chimeric anti-CD20 antibody, Rituxan (Rituximab, IDEC-C2B8; IDEC Pharmaceuticals Corporation, San Diego, CA), and cyclophosphamide, doxorubicin, vincristine, and prednisone (CHOP) chemotherapy. PATIENTS AND METHODS: Forty patients with low-grade or follicular B-cell non-Hodgkin's lymphoma received six infusions of Rituxan (375 mg/m2 per dose) in combination with six doses of CHOP chemotherapy. RESULTS: The overall response rate was 95% (38 of 40 patients). Twenty-two patients experienced a complete response (55%), 16 patients had a partial response (40%), and two patients, who received no treatment, were classified as nonresponders. Medians for duration of response and time to progression had not been reached after a median observation time of 29 + months. Twenty-eight of 38 assessable patients (74%) continued in remission during this median follow-up period. The most frequent adverse events attributable to CHOP were alopecia (38 patients), neutropenia (31 patients), and fever (23 patients). The most frequent events attributed to Rituxan were fever and chills, observed primarily with the first infusion. No quantifiable immune response to the chimeric antibody was detected. In a subset of 18 patients, the bcl-2 [t(14;18)] translocation was positive in eight patients; seven of these patients had complete remissions and converted to polymerase chain reaction (PCR) negativity by completion of therapy. CONCLUSION: This is the first report demonstrating the safety and efficacy of Rituxan anti-CD20 chimeric antibody in combination with standard-dose systemic chemotherapy in the treatment of indolent B-cell lymphoma. The clinical responses suggest an additive therapeutic benefit for the combination with no significant added toxicity. The conversion of bcl-2 from positive to negative by PCR in blood and/or marrow suggests possible clearing of minimal residual disease not previously demonstrated by CHOP chemotherapy alone.  (+info)

Rituximab (anti-CD20 monoclonal antibody) therapy for progressive intermediate-grade non-Hodgkin's lymphoma after high-dose therapy and autologous peripheral stem cell transplantation. (6/2033)

We evaluated the response and toxicity of rituximab in the setting of progressive intermediate grade non-Hodgkin's lymphoma (NHL) after autologous peripheral stem cell transplantation (PSCT). Seven patients with a median age of 59 years (45-62), ECOG performance status 0-1, and CD20-positive diffuse large cell lymphoma with progression after PSCT were treated. All patients initially received 4-weekly infusions of rituximab (375 mg/m2). The maximum response was three CR and four PR. Median progression-free survival was 197 days (range 60-282). With a median follow-up of 204 (115-299) days, the patients' disease status is classified as two CR, one PR, and four PD. Four of five patients with ECOG performance status of 1 prior to treatment showed improvement to status 0 after treatment with rituximab. While follow-up is short, these results suggest that rituximab has significant activity in intermediate-grade non-Hodgkin's lymphoma that has relapsed after PSCT.  (+info)

Cytokine-release syndrome in patients with B-cell chronic lymphocytic leukemia and high lymphocyte counts after treatment with an anti-CD20 monoclonal antibody (rituximab, IDEC-C2B8). (7/2033)

Eleven patients with relapsed fludarabine-resistant B-cell chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) or leukemic variants of low-grade B-cell non-Hodgkin's lymphoma (NHL) were treated with the chimeric monoclonal anti-CD20 antibody rituximab (IDEC-C2B8). Peripheral lymphocyte counts at baseline varied from 0.2 to 294.3 x 10(9)/L. During the first rituximab infusion, patients with lymphocyte counts exceeding 50.0 x 10(9)/L experienced a severe cytokine-release syndrome. Ninety minutes after onset of the infusion, serum levels of tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-alpha) and interleukin-6 (IL-6) peaked in all patients. Elevated cytokine levels during treatment were associated with clinical symptoms, including fever, chills, nausea, vomiting, hypotension, and dyspnea. Lymphocyte and platelet counts dropped to 50% to 75% of baseline values within 12 hours after the onset of the infusion. Simultaneously, there was a 5-fold to 10-fold increase of liver enzymes, d-dimers, and lactate dehydrogenase (LDH), as well as a prolongation of the prothrombin time. Frequency and severity of first-dose adverse events were dependent on the number of circulating tumor cells at baseline: patients with lymphocyte counts greater than 50.0 x 10(9)/L experienced significantly more adverse events of National Cancer Institute (NCI) grade III/IV toxicity than patients with less than 50.0 x 10(9)/L peripheral tumor cells (P = .0017). Due to massive side effects in the first patient treated with 375 mg/m(2) in 1 day, a fractionated dosing schedule was used in all subsequent patients with application of 50 mg rituximab on day 1, 150 mg on day 2, and the rest of the 375 mg/m(2) dose on day 3. While the patient with the leukemic variant of the mantle-cell NHL achieved a complete remission (9 months+) after treatment with 4 x 375 mg/m(2) rituximab, efficacy in patients with relapsed fludarabine-resistant B-CLL was poor: 1 partial remission, 7 cases of stable disease, and 1 progressive disease were observed in 9 evaluable patients with CLL. On the basis of these data, different infusion schedules and/or combination regimens with chemotherapeutic drugs to reduce tumor burden before treatment with rituximab will have to be evaluated.  (+info)

Single-agent monoclonal antibody efficacy in bulky non-Hodgkin's lymphoma: results of a phase II trial of rituximab. (8/2033)

PURPOSE: A phase II trial was performed to evaluate the safety and efficacy of rituximab, a chimeric anti-CD20 monoclonal antibody, in patients with bulky (> 10-cm lesion) relapsed or refractory low-grade or follicular non-Hodgkin's lymphoma (NHL). PATIENTS AND METHODS: Thirty-one patients received intravenous infusions of rituximab 375 mg/m(2) weekly for four doses. All patients had at least one prior therapy (median, three; range, one to 13) and had progressive disease at study entry. Patients were a median of 4 years from diagnosis. RESULTS: No patient had treatment discontinued because of an adverse event. No patient developed human antichimeric antibody. The overall response rate in 28 assessable patients was 43% with a median time to progression of 8.1 months (range, 4.5 to 18.6+ months) and median duration of response of 5.9 months (range, 2.8 to 12.1+ months). The average decrease in lesion size in patients who achieved a partial response was 76%, and patients with stable disease had a decrease in average lesion size of 26%. Median serum antibody concentration was higher in responders compared with nonresponders, and a negative correlation was shown between antibody concentration and tumor bulk at baseline. CONCLUSION: Rituximab single-agent outpatient therapy is safe and shows significant clinical activity in patients with bulky relapsed or refractory low-grade or follicular B-cell NHL.  (+info)