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Clinical outcome and B cell depletion in patients with rheumatoid arthritis receiving rituximab monotherapy in comparison with patients receiving concomitant methotrexate
  1. K Owczarczyk1,
  2. M Hellmann1,
  3. G Fliedner2,
  4. T Röhrs1,
  5. K Maizus1,
  6. D Passon3,
  7. M Hallek1,
  8. A Rubbert1
  1. 1
    Division of Rheumatology, Department of Medicine, University Hospital Cologne, Cologne, Germany
  2. 2
    Rheumatological Practice, Moeser Str., Osnabruck, Germany
  3. 3
    Laboratory of Immunology, Institute of Pharmacology, University of Cologne, Cologne, Germany
  1. Kasia M Owczarczyk, MD, Division of Rheumatology, Department of Medicine, BH Eb13A, University Hospital Cologne, Kerpener Str. 9, 50924 Cologne, Germany; katarzyna.owczarczyk{at}uk-koeln.de

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In line with the current licensing indications, rituximab (RTX), a monoclonal anti-CD20 antibody1 can be administered solely in combination with methotrexate (MTX).2 However, some patients are ineligible for this treatment due to contraindications to or intolerance of MTX, resulting in an unmet need for alternative treatment protocols.

The aim of our study was to determine the efficacy, safety and kinetics of B cell depletion3 following a single course of RTX as a monotherapy.

In total, 40 patients with active rheumatoid arthritis (RA) were followed. Twenty patients received rituximab as a monotherapy having previously failed or been intolerant of MTX and other …

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