Prior rituximab administration is associated with reduced rate of acute GVHD after in vivo T-cell depleted transplantation in lymphoma patients

R. Crocchiolo, L. Castagna, J. El-Cheikh, A. Helvig, S. Fürst, C. Faucher, A. Vazquez, A. Granata, D. Coso, R. Bouabdallah, D. Blaise

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Rituximab is one of the most commonly used drugs in the treatment of B-cell non-Hodgkin lymphoma. Because of its ability to target CD20 + lymphocytes, its use before allogeneic stem cell transplantation seemed to reduce risk of graft-vs.-host disease (GVHD) occurrence. We retrospectively analyzed the outcomes of adult patients diagnosed with CD20 + lymphoproliferative disease undergoing allogeneic stem cell transplantation and receiving, or not receiving, rituximab up to 3 months before transplantation. Analysis on a cohort of 57 patients showed a protective role of rituximab on the occurrence of acute GVHD for those receiving anti-thymocyte globulin during conditioning (n = 39). Grade 2 to 4 and 3 to 4 acute GVHD occurred in 10% vs. 48% (p = 0.03) and 0% vs. 24% (p = 0.08) in the rituximab and no-rituximab groups, respectively. No impact on chronic GVHD was observed. These results confirm a protective role of rituximab on the occurrence of GVHD and enhance further investigation on future studies aimed at reducing GVHD incidence.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)892-896
Number of pages5
JournalExperimental Hematology
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - Sep 2011


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cancer Research
  • Cell Biology
  • Genetics
  • Molecular Biology
  • Hematology

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