What is RICE?

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RICE is an acronym for an anti-cancer treatment that expresses a combination chemotherapeutic regimen.

This regimen is written variously as "R+ICE", "R-ICE", and "RICE."

What drugs are used in the RICE cancer treatment?

RICE combination chemotherapy uses the following drugs

Rituximab is a monoclonal antibody that targets the CD20 protein on the surface of B-lymphocytes, while ifosfamide, carboplatin, and etoposide are all chemotherapeutic drugs that work at various stages of the cell cycle.

The RICE regimen

The RICE regimen is tailored to each individual patient, but is generally administered according to a 14 day cycle that is repeated three times:

  • Two days before the start of the first cycle, the patient receives an infusion of rituximab.
  • Day 1: More rituximab
  • Day 3: Etoposide
  • Day 4: More etoposide, plus carboplatin and a 24-hour infusion of ifosfamide (mixed with a drug to prevent irritation of the bladder)
  • Day 5: Even more etoposide
  • Days 7-14: Injections of G-CSF, a protein that stimulates the bone marrow to create white blood cells
  • Day 15 = Day 1 of the second cycle

Virtually all patients agree that RICE chemotherapy is an especially brutal chemotherapeutic regimen, with an immense amount of difficult side effects.

What is RICE used for?

Most often, the RICE chemotherapeutic regimen is used as a preparative regimen in patients with non-Hodgkin's lymphomas of B-cell origin who are about to undergo a hematopoietic stem cell transplantation.

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