Navigation Links
FDA Approves Rituxan to Treat Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia

SILVER SPRING, Md., Feb. 18 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The U.S. Food and Drug Administration today approved Rituxan (rituximab) to treat certain patients with chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL), a slowly progressing blood and bone marrow cancer.


Rituxan, an anti-cancer drug, is intended for patients with CLL who are beginning chemotherapy for the first time and for those who have not responded to other cancer drugs for CLL. Rituxan is administered with two other chemotherapy drugs, fludarabine and cyclophosphamide.

CLL primarily affects people older than 50 and arises from a group of white blood cells known as B-cells—part of the body's immune system. Each year, about 16,000 people are diagnosed with and 4,400 die from CLL.

"Rituxan is the third drug approved for the treatment of CLL since 2008 and underscores FDA's commitment to expediting the development and approval of drugs for patients with serious and life-threatening diseases," said Richard Pazdur, M.D., director, Office of Oncology Drug Products in the FDA's Center for Drug Evaluation and Research.

FDA approved Arzerra (ofatumumab) in October 2009 for patients whose cancer is no longer being controlled by other forms of chemotherapy and Treanda (bendamustine) in March 2008 for patients with CLL who had not received prior treatment.

Rituxan is a monoclonal antibody. It is manufactured through biotechnology methods rather than by the human body's own immune system. The drug binds to the surface of cancer cells, making it easier for the patient's immune system to attack the cancer cell as if it were a foreign pathogen.

The safety and effectiveness of Rituxan was evaluated in two studies that measured progression-free survival, defined as the time a patient in the study lived without the cancer progressing.

In one study of 817 patients who had not received any prior chemotherapy, progression-free survival was eight months longer for those receiving Rituxan plus chemotherapy than for those who received chemotherapy alone. In another study of 522 persons whose cancer had progressed following other chemotherapy drugs, progression-free survival was five months longer for those who received Rituxan plus chemotherapy.

The FDA analyzed the data on patients 70 years of age and older who had received Rituxan and found no evidence that adding the drug to chemotherapy benefitted elderly patients compared to receiving chemotherapy alone. However, there was also no evidence that Rituxan was harmful to elderly patients.

Rituxan carries a Boxed Warning for infusion reactions, which can occur during infusion or within 24 hours afterwards. Some 59 percent of patients treated with Rituxan for CLL experienced an infusion reaction that resembled an allergic reaction (e.g., hives, low blood pressure, chills, fever, and nausea).

A decrease in infection-fighting, normal white blood cells was also commonly observed in patients enrolled in the Rituxan clinical trials.

Other Boxed Warnings for Rituxan include rashes and sores in the skin and mouth; progressive multifocal leukoencephalopathy (PML), a brain infection that is generally fatal; and tumor lysis syndrome, which results from the death of a large number of tumor cells in a short period of time. When the tumor cells are killed by the drug, they release toxins into the bloodstream that can cause acute kidney injury and increase the levels of potassium and phosphate in the blood.

Rituxan is manufactured by San Francisco based-Genentech, a member of the Roche Group.

Media Inquiries: Karen Riley, 301-796-4674;

mailto:Consumer Inquiries: 888-INFO-FDA

SOURCE U.S. Food and Drug Administration

Back to top



SOURCE U.S. Food and Drug Administration
Copyright©2010 PR Newswire.
All rights reserved

Related medicine technology :

1. FDA Approves Lillys Osteoporosis Drug EVISTA(R) (raloxifene HCl) to Reduce The Risk of Invasive Breast Cancer in Two Populations of Postmenopausal Women
2. Health Canada Approves ATRIPLA(R) (efavirenz 600 mg/emtricitabine 200 mg/ tenofovir disoproxil fumarate 300 mg), the First Once-Daily Single Tablet Regimen for HIV
3. FDA Approves Cymbalta(R) for Maintenance Treatment of Major Depressive Disorder
4. European Commission Approves ATRIPLA(R) (efavirenz 600 mg/emtricitabine 200 mg/tenofovir disoproxil fumarate 300 mg), the First Once-Daily Single Tablet Regimen for Virologically Suppressed Adults With HIV-1 Infection
5. FDA Approves MiddleBrooks Amoxicillin PULSYS for Pharyngitis/Tonsillitis in Adolescents and Adults
6. FDA Approves XYZAL(R) (levocetirizine dihydrochloride) Oral Solution for the Relief of Seasonal and Year Round Allergies and Chronic Idiopathic Urticaria
7. UM Maryland Industrial Partnerships Program Approves 18 Collaborative Research Projects, Worth $4.4 Million, Between University Faculty, State Technology Companies
8. U.S. Food and Drug Administration Approves ABILIFY(R) (aripiprazole) for the Acute Treatment of Manic and Mixed Episodes Associated With Bipolar I Disorder in Pediatric Patients (10 to 17 Years of Age)
9. U.S. Food and Drug Administration Approves ORENCIA(R) (abatacept) for the Treatment of Moderate-to-Severe Polyarticular Juvenile Idiopathic Arthritis (JIA) in Patients Six Years and Older
10. FDA Approves HIFU Clinical Trial for Recurrent Prostate Cancer
11. EPA Approves XDS-CALUX(R) as Alternate Dioxin Test Method 4435
Post Your Comments:
(Date:11/26/2015)... , November 26, 2015 ... "Self Administration of High Viscosity Drugs" ... ) has announced the addition of the ... to their offering. --> Research and ... of the "Self Administration of High Viscosity ...
(Date:11/26/2015)... , November 26, 2015 /PRNewswire/ ... announced the addition of the  "2016 ... the European Cell Surface Marker Testing ... Opportunities"  report to their offering.  ... the addition of the  "2016 Future ...
(Date:11/25/2015)... 25, 2015  Amgen (NASDAQ: AMGN ) today ... with the United States (U.S.) ... biosimilar candidate to Humira ® (adalimumab). Amgen believes ... to the FDA and represents Amgen,s first BLA submission ... Harper , M.D., executive vice president of Research and ...
Breaking Medicine Technology:
(Date:11/27/2015)... ... November 27, 2015 , ... ... convenient way to dispense prescription medications at home, so he invented the patent-pending ... monitor and dispense prescription medications. In doing so, it could help to prevent ...
(Date:11/27/2015)... ... 2015 , ... MPWH, the No.1 Herpes-only dating community in the world, revealed that over 50% ... More than 3.7 billion people under the age of 50 – or 67% of the ... first global estimates of HSV-1 infection . , "The data shocks us highly!" said ...
(Date:11/27/2015)... ... November 27, 2015 , ... Keeping in mind challenges ... health and wellness consultation, has collaborated with a leading web-based marketplace for extra-curricular ... experienced by parents and bring advice from parenting experts within their reach. As ...
(Date:11/27/2015)... ... November 27, 2015 , ... Indosoft ... announces the incorporation of Asterisk 11 LTS (Long Term Support) into its Q-Suite ... LTS brings Q-Suite 5.10 up-to-date with a version of Asterisk that will receive ...
(Date:11/26/2015)... ... 2015 , ... The Catalent Applied Drug Delivery Institute today ... dose form selection in early phase drug development. The first of these is ... together the UK’s emerging life sciences companies, corporate partners, and investors, at Milton ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):