February 1st 2003
Despite many therapeutic options for chronic lymphocytic leukemia(CLL), the disease remains incurable. Since monoclonal antibodiesand recombinant toxins that bind surface antigens expressed on themalignant lymphocytes have been developed, targeted therapy hasbecome a vital option in treating CLL. Rituximab (Rituxan), a chimerichuman-mouse anti-CD20 antibody, and alemtuzumab (Campath), ahumanized anti-CD52 monoclonal antibody, have both shown activityin CLL-as single agents and in combination with conventionalchemotherapy. The possibility of combining antibodies has beenexplored as well, with some efficacy. In this review, we discuss theclinical data on the activity of commercially available antibodies inCLL, both as monotherapy and in combination with other agents.