Treatment with Rituxan (rituximab), a monoclonal antibody treatment for B-cell lymphomas, has resulted in patient deaths. Causes of the deaths have included infusion reactions, tumor lysis syndrome, and severe mucocutaneous (skin and mucous membrane) reactions.
Rituxan is an effective and relatively non-toxic treatment for CD-20 positive B-cell lymphoma. Because Rituxan is generally less toxic than many traditional chemotherapy regimens, some patients and caregivers may not be aware of these fatalities. Although the deaths occurred in a very small proportion of the patients who have been treated with Rituxan - less than a tenth of a percent, by one estimate - prospective patients should be aware that it is not a risk-free treatment.
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