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Medline ® Abstract for Reference 73

of 'Infusion-related reactions to therapeutic monoclonal antibodies used for cancer therapy'

Rapid infusion rituximab in combination with corticosteroid-containing chemotherapy or as maintenance therapy is well tolerated and can safely be delivered in the community setting.
Sehn LH, Donaldson J, Filewich A, Fitzgerald C, Gill KK, Runzer N, Searle B, Souliere S, Spinelli JJ, Sutherland J, Connors JM
Blood. 2007;109(10):4171. Epub 2007 Jan 23.
The increasing usage of rituximab in the management of non-Hodgkin lymphoma (NHL) has created huge logistical challenges with respect to the delivery of this time- and labor-intensive drug. To address these challenges, we developed and tested the feasibility of a 90-minute infusion schedule for rituximab (20% of the dose administered in the first 30 minutes, remaining 80% administered over 60 minutes). A safety analysis performed in 150 patients receiving rituximab with corticosteroid-containing chemotherapy and 56 patients receiving rituximab as maintenance therapy demonstrated that this schedule was well tolerated, with no grade 3 or 4 infusion reactions observed. In addition, no increase in minor reactions was noted. More than 1200 patients have been treated with this rapid rituximab infusion schedule in the province of British Columbia (BC), demonstrating its safety in the community setting. The adoption of this 90-minute schedule as standard practice has had a positive impact on resource utilization.
Division of Medical Oncology, British Columbia Cancer Agency, Vancouver, Canada. lsehn@bccancer.bc.ca