Rituximab for ANCA-associated vasculitides.
Clin Exp Rheumatol. 2014 May-Jun;32(2 Suppl 82):S118-21
Authors: Guillevin L
Among new treatments for ANCA-associated vasculitis, rituximab is the most promising. It has already been demonstrated that rituximab is not inferior to cyclophosphamide in inducing remission. This drug is therefore an alternative to cyclophosphamide for induction treatment. In the long term, it has been shown that patients who have received 4 infusions of rituximab to induce remission, not followed by a maintenance treatment, have the same relapse rate as patients who have been treated with azathioprine for maintenance. This high relapse rate supports a maintenance treatment which could also be rituximab. The results obtained with rituximab vs. azathioprine are encouraging and could favour rituximab use, but long-term results are still needed. Rituximab is safe and side effect frequency and severity are comparable to the side effects observed in patients treated with cyclophosphamide for induction, and azathioprine or methotrexate for maintenance. New studies are needed to evaluate the long-term side effects of this biotherapy.
PMID: 24854382 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]