A drug used alone or with other drugs under the brand names Riabni, Rituxan, Ruxience, and Truxima to treat certain types of B-cell non-Hodgkin lymphoma, chronic lymphocytic leukemia, and B-cell acute leukemia that are CD20 positive. Rituximab is also being studied in the treatment of other conditions and types of cancer. Rituximab binds to a protein called CD20, which is found on B cells (a type of white blood cell) and some types of cancer cells. This may help the immune system kill cancer cells. Rituximab is a type of monoclonal antibody.
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Rituximab is approved to be used in alone or with other drugs to treat:
Acute lymphoblastic leukemia or acute myeloid leukemia
B-cell non-Hodgkin lymphoma (NHL)
Chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL)
Rituximab was approved for medical use in 1997. It is on the World Health Organization’s List of Essential Medicines.
Rituximab is a chimeric monoclonal antibody targeted against CD20 which is a surface antigen present on B cells. Therefore, it acts by depleting normal as well as pathogenic B cells while sparing plasma cells and hematopoietic stem cells as they do not express the CD20 surface antigen.
In the United States, rituximab is indicated to treat:
non-Hodgkin lymphoma (NHL)
chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL)
rheumatoid arthritis having inadequate response to one or more TNF inhibitors
vasculitis such as granulomatosis with polyangiitis and microscopic polyangiitis
moderate to severe pemphigus vulgaris
in combination with chemotherapy for children (≥6 months to <18 years) with previously untreated, advanced stage, CD20-positive diffuse large B-cell lymphoma (DLBCL), Burkitt lymphoma (BL), Burkitt-like lymphoma (BLL), or mature B-cell acute leukemia (B-AL).