Commentary on Abstract #432

Publication
Article
OncologyONCOLOGY Vol 13 No 3
Volume 13
Issue 3

In general, rituximab has an acceptable toxicity profile. However, as the drug has been used more widely, new side effects have been identified that warranted a modification of the package insert. Approximately 70 serious infusion-related events have been reported, with 8 fatalities out of an estimated14,000 patients treated. Death was associated with bronchospasm, hypotension, and severe respiratory distress, with no clear predisposing factors.

In general, rituximab has an acceptable toxicity profile. However, as the drug has been used more widely, new side effects have been identified that warranted a modification of the package insert. Approximately 70 serious infusion-related events have been reported, with 8 fatalities out of an estimated14,000 patients treated. Death was associated with bronchospasm, hypotension, and severe respiratory distress, with no clear predisposing factors.

In addition, a small number of patients treated with rituximab at a time when they had bulky disease and circulating tumor cells developed thrombocytopenia, a rapid decrease in tumor load, and a number of electrolyte abnormalities consistent with tumor lysis, but not clearly a tumor lysis syndrome (Byrd et al, abstract #432; Byrd et al: J Clin Oncol, vol 17, 1999 [in press]). In general, tumor lysis in indolent disorders cannot be readily predicted (Cheson et al: J Clin Oncol 16:2313-2320, 1998) or prevented. Rapid intervention is most important for a successful outcome.

Articles in this issue

WHO Declares Lymphatic Mapping to Be the Standard of Care for Melanoma
Rituximab: Phase II Retreatment Study in Patients With Low-Grade or Follicular Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma
Response Criteria for NHL: Importance of “Normal” Lymph Node Size and Correlations With Response
Chemotherapy Plus Radiation Improves Survival in Patients With Cervical Cancer
A Randomized Trial of Fludarabine, Mitoxantrone (FM) Versus Doxorubicin, Cyclophosphamide, Vindesine, Prednisone (CHEP) as First Line Treatment in Patients With Advanced Low-Grade Non-Hodgkin's Lymphoma: A Multicenter Study by GOELAMS Group
Navelbine Increased Elderly Lung Cancer Patients’ Survival
Fludarabine Versus Conventional CVP Chemotherapy in Newly C Diagnosed Patients With Stages III and IV Low-Grade Malignant Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma: Preliminary Results From a Prospective, Randomized Phase III Clinical Trial in 381 Patients
Multicenter, Phase III Study of Iodine-131 Tositumomab (Anti-B1 Antibody) for Chemotherapy-Refractory Low-Grade or Transformed Low-Grade Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma
T-Cell–Depleted Allogeneic Bone Marrow Transplant From HLA-Matched Sibling Donors for Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma
Consensus Statement on Prevention and Early Diagnosis of Lung Cancer
In Vivo Purging and Adjuvant Immunotherapy With Rituximab During PBSC Transplant For NHL
Fludarabine and Cyclophosphamide: A Highly Active and Well-Tolerated Regimen for Patients With Previously Untreated Indolent Lymphomas
Campath-1H Monoclonal Antibody in Therapy for Advanced Low-Grade Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphomas: A Phase II Study
AIDS Drugs Effective Against Most Common HIV Strain
Rituximab Therapy in Previously Treated Waldenström’s Macroglobulinemia: Preliminary Evidence of Activity
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