Rituximab treatment before reduced-intensity conditioning transplantation associates with a decreased incidence of extensive chronic GVHD

Suzanne van Dorp, Floor Pietersma, Matthias Wölfl, Leo F Verdonck, Eefke J Petersen, Henk M Lokhorst, Edwin Martens, Matthias Theobald, Debbie van Baarle, Ellen Meijer, Jürgen Kuball*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

31 Citations (Scopus)


Chronic graft-versus-host-disease (cGVHD) is the major cause of late morbidity and mortality after allogeneic stem cell transplantation. B cells have been reported to be involved in mediating cGVHD. To assess whether preemptive host B cell depletion prevents extensive cGVHD after allogeneic reduced-intensity conditioning transplantation (RICT), 173 patients treated with RICT for various hematologic diseases, who had or had not received Rituximab (Rtx) within 6 month prior to RICT, were analyzed retrospectively. Rtx treatment within 6 months prior to RICT reduced extensive cGVHD significantly from 45.8% to 20.1%. We hypothesize that most likely host B cells initiate cGVHD, and thus, host B cell depletion prior to RICT by Rtx might be a valuable strategy to reduce extensive cGVHD after RICT.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)671-8
Number of pages8
JournalBiology of Blood and Marrow Transplantation
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Jun-2009
Externally publishedYes


  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Alemtuzumab
  • Antibodies, Monoclonal/administration & dosage
  • Antibodies, Monoclonal, Humanized
  • Antibodies, Monoclonal, Murine-Derived
  • Antibodies, Neoplasm/therapeutic use
  • Antilymphocyte Serum/administration & dosage
  • Antineoplastic Combined Chemotherapy Protocols/therapeutic use
  • B-Lymphocytes/drug effects
  • Chronic Disease
  • Combined Modality Therapy
  • Disease-Free Survival
  • Drug Administration Schedule
  • Female
  • Graft vs Host Disease/drug therapy
  • Hematologic Diseases/drug therapy
  • Humans
  • Immunosuppressive Agents/therapeutic use
  • Incidence
  • Kaplan-Meier Estimate
  • Lymphocyte Depletion/methods
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Patient Selection
  • Premedication
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Rituximab
  • Sample Size
  • Transplantation Conditioning/methods
  • Young Adult

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