Rituxan Also Provides Relief for Rheumatoid Arthritis

Rituxan(R) (rituximab), a monoclonal antibody used to treat some B-cell lymphomas, has proven to be effective in treating patients with rheumatoid arthritis (RA) who have not responded to current treatment, according to research presented this week at the American College of Rheumatology Annual Scientific Meeting. The drug has been given priority review status by the FDA for patients with arthritis who have failed treatment with one or more TNF blocker drugs.

"While TNF blockers are an extremely beneficial therapy, there are patients who fail to respond or have toxicity to these therapies," said Dr. Stanley B. Cohen, of Radiant Research-Dallas, in Texas, and an investigator in the study. "For those patients, adding rituximab to the treatment management plan may spell the difference in success."

For more information on the mechanism of RA and B-cells, see this earlier study paper in the Annals of Rheumatic Disease.

Studying the similarities between autoimmune diseases and lymphomas may end up finding breakthroughs for both.

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