Sunday, March 9, 2014

Subcutaneous Rituxan for Follicular Lymphoma

From the British journal Lancet Oncology comes the article "Subcutaneous Rituximab Noninferior to IV Formulation in Follicular Lymphoma," a look at whether or not Rituxan could be as effective if given as an injection rather than as an IV.

It seems that it can.

The study is part of a multinational study of Follicular Lymphoma called the SABRINA study. The goal is to determine if the injected Rituxan would stay in the blood in concentrations similar to those of the traditional IV. Patients were split into 2 groups. Both were given either CHOP or CVP, but one group had Rituxan by IV, and the other by injection. The chemo was given for 8 cycles, and at the end, patients who had a response were given Maintenance Rituxan (again, either IV or injection) every 8 weeks.

The two groups were tested to see if the concentrations of Rituxan in their blood were comparable. It's possible that the less concentrated, slower dose of an IV would be more effective, and would cause fewer problems, than the rush of a more concentrated injection.

But the results showed that the two methods were indeed comparable. Their next step is to measure safety and effectiveness in more detail.

As the intro to the Summary points out, the researchers are hoping that the injection method will "improve convenience and save health-care resources." As those of us who have had Rituxan are aware, four hours in a chair, especially if the treatment is weekly, is not all that convenient, and can take up the time of a nurse or two. Maybe an injection can be a small step in reducing costs, and in making life just a tad easier for Follicular Lymphoma patients who are receiving treatment.

Certainly worth keeping an eye on, particularly as this might be a method for delivering some of those other Monoclonal Antibodies that are being developed, too.


Anonymous said...

Hi Bob-
I m 46 years old and was diagnosed with fNHL in October 2013 stage 2b. I have had 4 rounds of B-R with little side effects and great success. The tumor in my abdomen has greatly diminished in size. I have continued to work part time through out.

I am scheduled to have Zevalin at the end of this month and am anxious. I have read the research reports that show the efficacy of the drug. I am hopeful that I will be in remission this summer.

I would be curious if you or any of your followers have had Zevalin and what the experience was like. I plan to work through this treatment and have read the side effects which sound intense.

Thanks for your posts.

Lymphomaniac said...

Hi Cynthia. I'm happy to hear that the B-R has worked well for you. I have not had Zevalin, and from what I can remember, the folks in the online support group didn't report any horrendous side effects, so maybe those are more rare than it seems. I would suggest you go to and ask the folks there about their experiences. They're great about offering whatever assistance they can. And please follow up and let me know how the treatment goes. I say blots of happy things here about Zevalin; I want to make sure they are true for you,too.
Good luck.