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Rituximab Blog

New Drug Combo Might Help Older, Sicker Patients With Leukemia

Posted 9 Jan 2014 by Drugs.com

THURSDAY, Jan. 9, 2014 – A new combination of drugs might prolong life in certain older leukemia patients, a new study suggests. The research, led by German scientists, included nearly 800 older people (average age 73) who had been diagnosed with chronic lymphocytic leukemia. CLL is a cancer of the blood and bone marrow, the tissue inside bones in which blood cells are created. The study was published online Jan. 8 in the New England Journal of Medicine. Study participants – none of whom had received treatment for their illness before the start of the research – were randomly assigned to one of three groups. One group received an oral medication called chlorambucil (also known by the brand name Leukeran), the standard chemotherapy drug for older patients with CLL. The second group received chlorambucil plus a drug called rituximab (Rituxan). This drug has been used effectively in ... Read more

Related support groups: Leukemia, Rituxan, Rituximab, Leukeran, Chlorambucil, Obinutuzumab, Gazyva

FDA Medwatch Alert: Arzerra (ofatumumab) and Rituxan (rituximab): Drug Safety Communication - New Boxed Warning, Recommendations to Decrease Risk of Hepatitis B Reactivation

Posted 25 Sep 2013 by Drugs.com

ISSUE: FDA approved changes to the prescribing information of the immune-suppressing and anti-cancer drugs Arzerra (ofatumumab) and Rituxan (rituximab) to add new Boxed Warning information about the risk of reactivation of hepatitis B virus (HBV) infection. The revised labels also will include additional recommendations for screening, monitoring, and managing patients on these drugs to decrease this risk. In patients with prior HBV infection, HBV reactivation may occur when the body’s immune system is impaired. HBV reactivation has occurred in patients with prior HBV exposure who are later treated with drugs classified as CD20-directed cytolytic antibodies, including Arzerra (ofatumumab) and Rituxan (rituximab). Some cases have resulted in fulminant hepatitis, hepatic failure, and death. See the FDA Drug Safety Communication for additional information, including a Data Summary. BA ... Read more

Related support groups: Rituxan, Rituximab, Arzerra, Ofatumumab

Cancer Chemotherapy Tied to Slight Rise in Risk for Leukemia

Posted 14 Feb 2013 by Drugs.com

THURSDAY, Feb. 14 – Chemotherapy can be a lifesaver for thousands of cancer patients, but a new study suggests that it might slightly raise the odds for a type of leukemia later in life. Over the past 30 years, the risk for acute myeloid leukemia (AML) has increased for patients who underwent chemotherapy for certain forms of cancer, particularly non-Hodgkin lymphoma, the new study found. On the other hand, the researchers from the U.S. National Cancer Institute said other cancer survivors may have a reduced risk for AML due to a change in chemotherapy agents that occurred decades ago. One expert not connected to the study stressed that cancer patients need to put the findings into perspective. "It's important to realize that the risk of developing acute myeloid leukemia related to prior chemotherapy is small and increases with the number of chemotherapy treatments given over time," ... Read more

Related support groups: Cancer, Provera, Methotrexate, Depo-Provera, Lupron, Accutane, Tamoxifen, Medroxyprogesterone, Arimidex, Lupron Depot, Femara, Gleevec, Fluorouracil, Claravis, Tretinoin, Rituxan, Zoladex, Votrient, Tarceva, Avastin

Newer Rheumatoid Arthritis Drugs Don't Raise Cancer Risk: Study

Posted 6 Sep 2012 by Drugs.com

THURSDAY, Sept. 6 – A new review finds that rheumatoid arthritis medications known as biologics don't raise the risk of cancer, contrary to what some previous research has suggested. Rheumatoid arthritis affects an estimated 1 percent of the general population, with women three times more likely to have it. Different from age-related osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis is debilitating autoimmune disorder that causes inflammation of the lining of the joints. Biologics work by targeting specific parts of the immune system involved in the inflammation process. Previous studies have raised questions about whether the drugs might boost the risk of cancer. The new study appears in the Sept. 5 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association. The researchers, led by a researcher at the University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center, looked at 63 randomized controlled trials of the ... Read more

Related support groups: Rheumatoid Arthritis, Humira, Enbrel, Remicade, Rituxan, Orencia, Cimzia, Simponi, Rituximab, Actemra, Infliximab, Etanercept, Kineret, Tocilizumab, Adalimumab, Golimumab, Certolizumab, Abatacept, Anakinra

'Rediscovered' Lymphoma Drug Helps Double Survival: Study

Posted 4 Jun 2012 by Drugs.com

SUNDAY, June 3 – A drug first developed in East Germany in the 1960s has re-emerged as a potent "new" weapon against certain types of non-Hodgkin lymphomas, researchers report. The drug, bendamustine, more than doubled disease progression-free survival when given along with another therapy, rituximab (Rituxan), compared to the drug cocktail that's long been used to fight indolent non-Hodgkin lymphomas. The bendamustine/rituximab combination also left patients with fewer side effects than the older treatment, the trial found. One expert, Dr. Joshua Brody, an assistant professor of hematology/oncology at Mount Sinai School of Medicine in New York City, called the findings "quite exciting." "Simultaneously increasing efficacy and decreasing toxicity is a rare win-win in oncology, and this has already prompted an enormous shift in the way we care for these patients," he said. The findings ... Read more

Related support groups: Rituxan, Rituximab, Non-Hodgkin's Lymphoma, Treanda, Bendamustine

More Aggressive Chemo May Help Younger Lymphoma Patients: Study

Posted 27 Nov 2011 by Drugs.com

THURSDAY, Nov. 24 – Higher doses of chemotherapy with less time between treatments may benefit younger people suffering from aggressive lymphomas, such as diffuse large B-cell lymphoma (one of the most common and aggressive forms of non-Hodgkin's lymphoma), according to new research. A study published online Nov. 24 in The Lancet found this intensive form of chemotherapy, when combined with the monoclonal antibody drug rituximab, may reduce recurrence of the disease and increase survival rates among patients under 60 years of age. The researchers said these younger patients are about twice as likely to remain in remission after three years versus those given rituximab plus the standard chemotherapy treatment known as CHOP (cyclophosphamide, doxorubicin, vincristine, and prednisone). In conducting the study, researchers led by Dr. Herve Tilly of the University of Rouen in France gave ... Read more

Related support groups: Prednisone, Rituxan, Lymphoma, Rituximab, Cytoxan, Cyclophosphamide, Vincristine, Adriamycin, Hodgkin's Lymphoma, Doxorubicin, Deltasone, Sterapred, Cytoxan Lyophilized, Liquid Pred, Sterapred DS, Bleomycin, Oncovin, Prednicen-M, Neosar, Adriamycin RDF

Cancer Patients Should Ask Doctors to Use Simple Terms

Posted 28 Sep 2011 by Drugs.com

WEDNESDAY, Sept. 28 – Cancer patients are often faced with many difficult-to-understand treatment choices that can have serious side effects and even mean the difference between life and death. That's why it's crucial that patients insist doctors use plain language in explaining the options, advised Angela Fagerlin, an associate professor of internal medicine at the University of Michigan Medical School and a researcher at the U-M Comprehensive Cancer Center. "People are making life and death decisions that may affect their survival and they need to know what they're getting themselves into. Cancer treatments and tests can be serious. Patients need to know what kind of side effects they might experience as a result of the treatment they undergo," Fagerlin said in a university news release. She and her colleagues outlined a number of tips to help patients get the information they need ... Read more

Related support groups: Cancer, Provera, Methotrexate, Depo-Provera, Breast Cancer, Lupron, Accutane, Prostate Cancer, Tamoxifen, Medroxyprogesterone, Arimidex, Lupron Depot, Femara, Gleevec, Fluorouracil, Renal Cell Carcinoma, Lung Cancer, Claravis, Tretinoin, Rituxan

FDA Approves Rituxan to Treat Two Rare Disorders

Posted 28 Apr 2011 by Drugs.com

SILVER SPRING, Md., April 19, 2011 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ – The U.S. Food and Drug Administration today approved Rituxan (rituximab), in combination with glucocorticoids (steroids), to treat patients with Wegener's granulomatosis (WG) and microscopic polyangiitis (MPA), two rare disorders that cause blood vessel inflammation (vasculitis). Vasculitis in patients with WG and MPA can lead to tissue damage. WG mostly affects the respiratory tract (sinuses, nose, trachea, and lungs) and kidneys, while MPA commonly affects the kidneys, lungs, nerves, skin, and joints. Both of these diseases affect people of all ages and ethnicities, and both genders. The causes of these disorders are unknown, and both are considered orphan diseases because they each affect less than 200,000 people in the United States. "This new indication for Rituxan provides the first approved therapy for these two orphan ... Read more

Related support groups: Rituxan, Rituximab

Study Adds to Evidence That Rituximab Slows Lymphoma Symptoms

Posted 21 Dec 2010 by Drugs.com

TUESDAY, Dec. 21 – New research provides more evidence that treating certain lymphoma patients with an expensive drug over the long term helps them go longer without symptoms. But the drug, called rituximab (Rituxan), does not seem to significantly increase life span, raising questions about whether it's worth taking. People with lymphoma who are considering maintenance treatment "really need a discussion with [their] oncologist," said Dr. Steven T. Rosen, director of the Robert H. Lurie Comprehensive Cancer Center at Northwestern University in Chicago. The study involved people with follicular lymphoma, one of the milder forms of non-Hodgkin lymphoma, a term that refers to cancers of the immune system. Though it can be fatal, most people live for at least 10 years after diagnosis. There has been debate over whether people with the disease should take Rituxan as maintenance therapy ... Read more

Related support groups: Rituxan, Lymphoma, Rituximab

Rare Blood Vessel Disease Could Have New Treatment Option

Posted 14 Jul 2010 by Drugs.com

WEDNESDAY, July 14 – A drug already used to treat lymphoma and rheumatoid arthritis shows promise as an option to treat rare forms of vasculitis, a disease affecting the blood vessels, according to two new studies. The drug, rituximab, appeared to be as effective as the current standard, cyclophosphamide, in treating antineutrophil cytoplasmic antibody (ANCA)-associated vasculitis. Rituximab may even be superior to cyclophosphamide in treating disease recurrences, the researchers found. This is the first time in 40 years that a new drug has emerged to treat these conditions, according to the authors of the studies, both appearing in the July 15 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine. "This trial has demonstrated for the first time there is an effective alternative to cyclophosphamide for remission induction, and there are a variety of results that make us think that rituximab ... Read more

Related support groups: Rituxan, Vasculitis, Rituximab

Treatment With Rituxan May Reduce Recurrence of Follicular Lymphoma

Posted 21 May 2010 by Drugs.com

THURSDAY, May 20 – The final phase of a drug study finds that two years of treatment with rituximab (Rituxan) cuts in half the risk that follicular lymphoma patients who respond to chemotherapy will suffer a recurrence of the disease. "These findings provide hope for the way we manage this disease. Rituximab maintenance therapy is likely to become a new standard of care for these patients," study author Dr. Gilles Salles, a professor of medicine at the University of Lyon in France, said in a news release. Typically, he noted, patients often relapse within a few years of their initial treatment. The researchers reached their conclusions after randomly assigning patients with follicular lymphoma to two years of treatment with the drug (505 patients) or no treatment with the drug (513 patients). After a median of 25 months, 34 percent of those who didn't take the treatment had recurrence ... Read more

Related support groups: Rituxan, Rituximab, Follicular Lymphoma

Rheumatoid Arthritis Drug Lowers Flu Shot Effectiveness

Posted 11 Jan 2010 by Drugs.com

MONDAY, Jan. 11 – New research offers a caution to rheumatoid arthritis patients who take the drug rituximab (Rituxan): The flu vaccine is safe, but it's ineffective during the first six months following treatment with Rituxan. The researchers also found that previous flu vaccination does help provide some protection against the flu, and the vaccine won't make the arthritis symptoms worse. The study findings are published in the January issue of Arthritis & Rheumatism. Rheumatoid arthritis, which is caused when the immune system attacks the body, affects about 4.6 million people around the world. Doctors recommend that these patients get vaccinated against influenza each year – including the H1N1 swine flu this year – because they have weakened immune systems. The new study, by Dr. Sander van Assen and colleagues at the University Medical Center Groningen in the Netherlands, included ... Read more

Related support groups: Rituxan, Rituximab

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Non-Hodgkin's Lymphoma, Wegener's Granulomatosus, Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia (CLL), Follicular Lymphoma, Rheumatoid Arthritis, Mantle Cell Lymphoma, Evan's Syndrome, Microscopic polyangiitis, Focal Segmental Glomerulosclerosis, Bullous Pemphigoid, Pemphigoid, Idiopathic (Immune) Thrombocytopenic Purpura, Pemphigus

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