Current Oncology Reports

, 20:103 | Cite as

Anti-CD20 Directed Therapy of B Cell Lymphomas: Are New Agents Really Better?

  • Ciara L. FreemanEmail author
  • Laurie Sehn
Lymphomas (MR Smith, Section Editor)
Part of the following topical collections:
  1. Topical Collection on Lymphomas


Purpose of Review

Since its initial approval in 1997, rituximab has revolutionized the treatment of CD20-positive lymphoproliferative disorders. Now, over two decades later, second-generation molecules are emerging that may have key biological advantages compared to rituximab, as well as biosimilars that may be more cost-effective. Clinicians, health policy makers, and payers will now need to critically appraise the available evidence for these competitors and decide which anti-CD20 to use.

Recent Findings

Evidence has emerged directly comparing rituximab IV to a subcutaneous preparation, and head-to-head comparisons of rituximab versus next-generation anti-CD20 monoclonal antibodies have also been published. Trials comparing rituximab with newly developed biosimilars have also allowed for registration of these agents.


In this review, we will present an overview of anti-CD20 monoclonal antibody development, discuss the mechanistic and clinical evidence for rituximab, as well as the novel compounds, and provide commentary on the possible advantages and limitations of these agents.


Lymphoma CLL CD20 Monoclonal antibodies Rituximab Immunotherapy Biosimilar 


Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of Interest

Ciara L. Freeman has received research funding through grants from Roche and Genentech, has served on advisory boards for AbbVie and Celgene, and has received honoraria for service as a consultant from Seattle Genetics.

Laurie Sehn has received research funding through grants from Roche and Genentech and has received honoraria from Roche, Genentech, Seattle Genetics, AbbVie, Celgene, Amgen, Gilead, TG Therapeutics, Pfizer, Karyopharm, Apobiologix, Lundbeck, and Janssen for service as a consultant.

Human and Animal Rights and Informed Consent

This article does not contain any studies with human or animal subjects performed by any of the authors.


Papers of particular interest, published recently, have been highlighted as: • Of importance •• Of major importance

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© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.BC CancerVancouverCanada

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