Which role for rituximab in hairy cell leukemia? Reflections on six cases.

Hairy cell leukemia (HCL) is a rare, chronic, B-cell, lymphoproliferative disorder. Treatment has been revolutionized by the advent of interferon (IFN)-alpha and purine analogs (PA). First-line therapy with PA yields complete response rates of 75-100%, with many long-lasting remissions. In the event of profound neutropenia and/or infectious complications, a short sequence of IFN-alpha may precede PA treatment. Because of the excellent results achieved with PA therapy, the potential role of rituximab (an anti-CD20 monoclonal antibody that is highly effective against most B-cell lymphomas) in HCL has yet to be elucidated. Six HCL cases treated with rituximab are reported herein with a view to elucidating the potential role of the drug in HCL. The indications essentially consist of relapsing or refractory disease, avoiding the cumulative toxicity of PA, consolidation therapy in order to eradicate minimal residual disease, and first-line therapy for patients with contraindications to PA and IFN-alpha.
AuthorsJ V Malfuson, T Fagot, J Konopacki, B Souleau, S Cremades, T de Revel
JournalActa haematologica (Acta Haematol) Vol. 123 Issue 2 Pg. 110-6 ( 2010) ISSN: 1421-9662 [Electronic] Switzerland
PMID20051682 (Publication Type: Case Reports, Journal Article, Review)
CopyrightCopyright 2009 S. Karger AG, Basel.
Chemical References
  • Antibodies, Monoclonal
  • Antibodies, Monoclonal, Murine-Derived
  • Interferon-alpha
  • Pentostatin
  • Cladribine
  • Rituximab
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Antibodies, Monoclonal (therapeutic use)
  • Antibodies, Monoclonal, Murine-Derived
  • Antineoplastic Combined Chemotherapy Protocols (administration & dosage)
  • Cladribine (therapeutic use)
  • Fatal Outcome
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Interferon-alpha (therapeutic use)
  • Leukemia, Hairy Cell (drug therapy)
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Pentostatin (therapeutic use)
  • Rituximab
  • Treatment Outcome

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