Clinical Outcomes and Costs Associated with the Use of Rituximab for the Treatment of Diffuse Large B-cell Lymphoma

Fathima Fyzoo, Andrew Gray

Abstract


Rituximab, a monoclonal antibody, has recently been approved for inclusion in the KwaZulu-Natal provincial formulary for the treatment of diffuse large B-cell lymphoma (DLBCL) in combination with cyclophosphamide, vincristine, doxorubicin and prednisone (CHOP) regimen (R-CHOP). Due to the high cost, previous use of rituximab was restricted to refractory cases where treatment with first or second line agents had proved unsuccessful. The justification for its approval is based on evidence from clinical trial data and although rituximab represents a significant clinical advance in the treatment of patients with DLBCL, questions may arise regarding its appropriate use and affordability