Rituximab Shows Promise in Treating ITP
February 01, 2002
ORLANDO, Florida-Rituximab (Rituxan) shows promise in the treatment of immune thrombocytopenic purpura (ITP), according to two poster presentations at the 43rd Annual Meeting of the American Society of Hematology (ASH). Nichola Cooper, MRCP, fellow, and James B. Bussel, MD, professor of pediatrics, both at Weill Medical College of Cornell University, and Mansoor N. Saleh, MD, professor of medicine at the University of Alabama at Birmingham, reported the results of separate studies investigating the efficacy and toxicity of rituximab in adults with refractory ITP. Rituximab binds to the antigen CD20 and depletes circulating B-lymphocyte cells. "In theory," Dr. Cooper said, "if you get rid of the B cells, it decreases the autoimmune response."