Rituximab: modes of action, remaining dispute and future perspective



Abulayha A, Bredan A, El Enshasy H, Daniels I.


Future Oncol. 2014 Dec;10(15):2481-92. doi: 10.2217/fon.14.146.


Less than two decades ago, immunotherapy joined chemotherapy and radiotherapy as an effective approach for the treatment of cancer. The anti-CD20 monoclonal antibody, rituximab, is now used to treat almost all types of non-Hodgkin’s B-cell lymphomas, and it could be useful in the treatment of other diseases with B-cell involvement. Upon binding, rituximab induces death of the target cells. It seems to act not only by activating immune system defense mechanisms such as complement-dependent and antibody-dependent cellular cytotoxicity, but also by inducing direct cell death. In this paper, we review current knowledge on rituximab mechanisms of action, with particular attention to its direct effects, and also highlight potential future avenues of research.

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Link/DOI: 10.2217/fon.14.146