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RITUXIMAB

THE ADDITION OF AN ANTIBODY TO THERAPY FOR ONE FORM OF LEUKEMIA MAY BRING US CLOSER TO CURE, ELIZABETH TRACEY REPORTS

Rituximab is one of a class of medications called monoclonal antibodies, which are specifically designed to interfere with or modify certain receptors on cells.  Rituximab has now proven useful in one type of leukemia, known as chronic lymphocytic leukemia or CLL.  William Nelson, director of the Kimmel Cancer Center at Johns Hopkins, describes how these monoclonal antibodies work.

NELSON: Rituximab is one that’s most useful in lymphoid type cancers.  What it does is it recognizes something on the surface of lymphoid cells and lymphoid cancer cells and by binding to that thing on the surface it can facilitate the destruction of these cells in a way that’s therapeutically useful in lymphomas.  It’s very good news for people with CLL and I think we’ve got CLL perhaps, I hope, on the run a bit.   :24

Such very specific , targeted therapies are increasingly important in a range of cancer types.  At Johns Hopkins, I’m Elizabeth Tracey.


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