Hungarian Immunology

[Rituximab in rheumatoid arthritis]

SZEKANECZ Zoltán

MARCH 20, 2007

Hungarian Immunology - 2007;6(03)

[The therapy of rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is not always easy. Classical disease-modifying drugs are ineffective in about 10-15% of the cases. Furthermore, biologic agents, mainly tumor necrosis factor- α (TNF-α) inhibitors, may also be ineffective. Rituximab (RTX) is a B cell-inhibitory monoclonal antibody, which has been registered for the treatment of RA patients refractory to classical immunosuppressive agents including a TNF antagonist. Here we summarize the history of RTX therapy in RA including the presentation of the three major randomized clinical trials. We discuss the efficacy, safety of RTX, the practical points of RTX therapy, as well as some special considerations. The presented data suggest that RTX is a highly effective and safe biological, which can be used upon the inefficacy of any TNF inhibitor. RTX suppresses RA-associated inflammation, symptoms and decreases radiological progression. It may improve the functional capacity and quality of life of RA patients.]

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