C M G Cheung, P I Murray, C O S Savage
Description: Rituximab (Rituxan, Genentech, Inc, South San Francisco, CA, USA) is a new anti-CD20 B cell monoclonal antibody that has been used successfully to treat refractory cases of Wegener’s granulomatosis (WG).1–3 There has been no published report of its effect in Wegener’s associated eye disease. We describe the successful treatment of Wegener’s associated scleritis with rituximab.
Case Study is here.
My Analysis: Although this study is about Wegener’s eye disease, it shows that Rituxan has been successful in treating various involvements of Wegener’s Granulomatosis. At this time, only a few patients have been treated with this drug (usually effectively.)
What I have heard is that the first time Rituxan is used, the patient can have problems if the drip is not really really slow. Also, this drug is very expensive. But, many of the patients with problems with other drugs (such as Cytoxan, Methotrexate, Imuran, or Cellcept) does well on this drug. The normal dosage seems to be 2-4 times a year.
The patients and caregivers that I have talked to about this medication are very hopeful. They have full energy with very few side-effects. Some do not report any side-effects at all. Many of the younger patients (under 25) are able to continue successful academic careers.
I am sure that we will hear of the problems as this drug is being used by WG patients. But at this time, it seems very very hopeful.