Rituximab Mabthera

Rituximab Mabthera

This patient-friendly article is about chemotherapy drug, Rituximab (Mabthera) which is used in the treatment of low grade lymphoma and high grade B cell lymphoma. It is a biological therapy, a monoclonal antibody. It targets a protein called CD20 on the surface of the leukaemia and lymphoma cells. The antibody sticks to all the CD20 proteins it finds. Then the cells of the immune system pick out the marked cells and kill them. All fully developed B cells have CD20 on their surface, including B lymphoma cells.In June 2009 The Scottish Medicines Consortium (SMC) has accepted rituximab (MabThera?) for use within NHS Scotland for the first-line treatment of patients with chronic lymphocytic leukaemia (CLL) in combination with fludarabine and cyclophosphamide (FC). Rituximab is delivered intravenously.

Early B cells don’t have the CD20 protein and so aren’t killed.  This means they can produce new healthy B cells.

Side effects can include: fatigue, flu like symptoms, increased risk of infection, anaemia, bruising, nausea, mild diarrhoea, possibility of low blood pressure, stomach ache.

Approved by

the Medical Board. 

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Go to: 10 ways to improve your chemotherapy success and reduce side-effects

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  3. A to Z Guide to Complementary Therapies

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