HOW DO ANTI-CD20 MONOCLONAL ANTIBODIES WORK?
Anti-CD20 monoclonal antibodies are a class of drugs used to treat patients with previously untreated chronic lymphocytic leukemia (a type of cancer of the white blood cells), follicular lymphoma (cancer that affects white blood cells called lymphocytes), rheumatoid arthritis (a condition in which the body attacks its own joints, causing pain, swelling, and loss of function), and B-cell non-Hodgkin's lymphoma (a type of cancer that begins in a type of white blood cells that normally fights infection).
Anti-CD20 monoclonal antibodies are administered as a solution (liquid) to be added to fluid and injected intravenously (into a vein).
Anti-CD20 monoclonal antibodies work in the following ways:
- They work by killing the cancer cells.
- Tumor cells (like most normal cells) have receptors on their surfaces. Several chemicals, proteins can attach to these receptors and cause changes within the cells.
- Molecules that attach to CD20 (a receptor present in more than 90% of B-cell non-Hodgkin's lymphomas) can affect the growth and development of the tumor cells and, sometimes, the production of new tumor cells.
- Anti-CD20 antibodies attach to the CD20 receptor and cause the tumor cells to disintegrate (lyse).
- In addition, they prevent the production of additional tumor cells.
HOW ARE ANTI-CD20 MONOCLONAL ANTIBODIES USED?
Anti-CD20 monoclonal antibodies are used to treat conditions such as:
- Chronic lymphocytic leukemia (a type of cancer of the blood and bone marrow)
- Follicular lymphoma (cancer that affects white blood cells called lymphocytes)
- Marginal zone lymphoma (a group of slow-growing, non-Hodgkin's B-cell lymphomas)
- Non-Hodgkin lymphoma (a type of cancer that begins in the lymphatic system, which is part of the body's germ-fighting immune system)
- Rheumatoid arthritis (a most common type of autoimmune arthritis)
- Wegener’s granulomatosis (a rare multisystem autoimmune disease of unknown etiology)
- Microscopic polyangiitis (a rare condition that results from blood vessel inflammation)
- Pemphigus vulgaris (a condition that causes painful blisters on the skin and the lining of the mouth, nose, throat, and genitals)
- Rasmussen encephalitis (a rare disorder of the central nervous system characterized by chronic progressive inflammation [encephalitis] of one cerebral hemisphere)
- Diffuse large B-cell lymphoma (a cancer that starts in white blood cells called lymphocytes)
WHAT ARE SIDE EFFECTS OF ANTI-CD20 MONOCLONAL ANTIBODIES?
Some of the common side effects include:
- Muscle cramps
- Stuffy nose
- Loss of appetite
- Infusion reactions
- Back pain/joint pain
- Other rare side effects include:
- Thrombocytopenia (low blood platelet count)
- Anemia (low red blood cell count)
- Swelling of the face, throat, tongue, lips, eyes, hands, feet, ankles, or lower legs
- Difficulty breathing or swallowing
- Chest pain
- Fast heartbeat
- Night sweats
- Chest tightness
- Hives (itchy, raised welts that are found on the skin)
- Fever, chills, cough, sore throat, or other signs of infection
- Hypertension (high blood pressure)
Information contained herein is not intended to cover all possible side effects, precautions, warnings, drug interactions, allergic reactions, or adverse effects. Check with your doctor or pharmacist to make sure these drugs do not cause any harm when you take them along with other medicines. Never stop taking your medication and never change your dose or frequency without consulting your doctor.
WHAT ARE NAMES OF ANTI-CD20 MONOCLONAL ANTIBODIES?
Generic and brand names of anti-CD20 monoclonal antibodies include: