Successful treatment of gastrointestinal follicular lymphoma with rituxan and combination chemotherapy
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The clinical course of follicular lymphoma (FL) is well known. Although it is a chemosensitive disease, thereby allowing substantial palliation, recurrence is the rule; only a small subset who presents with limited stage disease is cured. Multiple attempts have been made over the past two decades to improve the survival of patients with FL, and a large number of phase III trials have been reported. These have included a variety of different therapeutic interventions, such as combination chemotherapy, recombinant interferons, new cytotoxic drugs, and immunologic agents. Most studies have not demonstrated that the use of a particular therapy convincingly prolongs survival. Follicular lymphoma cells express CD20 and are associated in most cases with the t(14:18) chromosomal translocation. Rituximab is a chimeric monoclonal antibody directed against the B-cell CD20 antigen, which has been utilized for the therapy of B-cell non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. Rituximab was shown to be active in FL, and studies of its effectiveness in combination with cytotoxic chemotherapy to increase the response rate are forthcoming.
Key WordsFollicular lymphoma rituximab gastrointestinal
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