B cell reductive therapy with rituximab in the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis
Joseph M Tuscano1,2, Jacob Sands1,2
1Hematology and Oncology, Veterans Affairs, Northern California Health Care System, California, USA; 2Division of Hematology and Oncology, University of California, Davis School of Medicine, Sacramento, California, USA
Abstract: The approach to treating autoimmune disorders is currently undergoing a significant change in focus. As therapies are developed that are more precise in targeting the pathogenesis for these diseases, patients experience significantly fewer side effects. At the same time, as more precise therapies are discovered, the etiologies of these diseases become further elucidated. It is now widely accepted that B-lymphocytes play a significant role in the pathogenesis of various autoimmune diseases, the extent of which continues to be the focus of ongoing research. Rheumatoid arthritis is one such disease process that has been the focus of various B-lymphocyte-directed therapeutic trials. In this paper we review the current research available on rituximab as treatment for rheumatoid arthritis. This review details results from four main studies, as well as others, which used rituximab in at least one of the arms in treatment of rheumatoid arthritis. The results are promising and will likely lead to longer term studies as well as a potential focus on B cell subsets.
Keywords: rheumatoid arthritis, rituximab, treatment efficacy, autoimmune, B-cells
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