Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Rituximab possible treatment option for patients with primary biliary cirrhosis

Date:
February 2, 2012
Source:
Wiley-Blackwell
Summary:
An open-label study of rituximab, a monoclonal antibody for human CD20, was shown to be safe in patients with primary biliary cirrhosis who had an incomplete response to the standard ursodeoxycholic acid therapy. Rituximab was successful in reducing the level of alkaline phosphatase -- a protein used to measure liver injury, according to the new study.

An open-label study of rituximab, a monoclonal antibody for human CD20, was shown to be safe in patients with primary biliary cirrhosis (PBC) who had an incomplete response to the standard ursodeoxycholic acid (UDCA) therapy, also known as Ursodiol. Study details available in the February issue of Hepatology, a journal published by Wiley-Blackwell on behalf of the American Association for the Study of Liver Diseases, report that rituximab was successful in reducing the level of alkaline phosphatase (ALP) -- a protein used to measure liver injury.

Related Articles


According to the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK), PBC -- an autoimmune liver disease characterized by inflammation of the bile ducts that ultimately causes bile to build up and damage the liver -- typically occurs between the ages of 40 and 60, primarily affecting women. Medical studies have identified the presence of anti-mitochondrial autoantibodies (AMA) to enzymes involved in the production of the body's energy (pyruvate dehydrogenase complex-PDC-E2) in up to 95% of PBC cases.

Currently, the standard therapy for PBC is UDCA or liver transplantation in patients who have progressed to end-stage liver disease. However, previous studies have shown that UDCA may be ineffective in up to 40% of PBC patients and 10% could require transplantation or die from the disease. "Small trials using immunosuppressants have failed to demonstrate significant clinical benefit or carry unacceptable safety profiles," said Dr. Christopher Bowlus with UC Davis Health System in California and lead author of the current study.

Dr. Bowlus added, "Given our previous work implicating B cells to the development of this disease, we hypothesized that a therapy such as rituximab, which depletes B cells, could offer a potentially effective treatment option with acceptable adverse effects." The team enrolled 6 patients between the ages of 18 and 65 years of age who were diagnosed with PBC and had an incomplete response to UDCA despite 6 months of therapy. Participants in this open-label study received an intravenous infusion of 1000 mg of rituximab on day 1 and day 15, with follow-up for 52 weeks. Two patients received one dose of rituximab due to latent varicella (chickenpox) activation in one and viral respiratory infection in the other.

The trial results found that rituximab was safe and well tolerated by PBC patients, with no serious adverse events reported. By 16 weeks post-treatment patients had significantly lower levels of immunoglobulins IgG, IgM, and IgA, which are the antibodies normally present in blood, but in the case of IgM are often elevated in PBC. In addition, the abnormal antibodies directed against mitochondria (AMA), were also reduced after treatment. However, levels returned to baseline by 36 weeks. Further, serum alkaline phosphatase decreased up to 36 weeks post-treatment.

The authors noted that rituximab therapy could clinically improve PBC through multiple pathways that include the reduction of anti-mitochondrial antibodies through depletion of memory B cells, increases in regulatory T cells associated with immune response, and modulation of cytokine production involved with inflammation. "Further investigation of B cell targeting strategies is necessary to develop potentially novel therapeutic options for patients with PBC," concludes Dr. Bowlus.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Wiley-Blackwell. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Masanobu Tsuda, Yuki Moritoki, Zhe-Xiong Lian, Weici Zhang, Katsunori Yoshida, Kanji Wakabayashi, Guo-Xiang Yang, Toshio Nakatani, John Vierling, Keith Lindor, M. Eric Gershwin, Christopher L. Bowlus. Biochemical and immunologic effects of rituximab in patients with primary biliary cirrhosis and an incomplete response to ursodeoxycholic acid. Hepatology, 2012; 55 (2): 512 DOI: 10.1002/hep.24748

Cite This Page:

Wiley-Blackwell. "Rituximab possible treatment option for patients with primary biliary cirrhosis." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 2 February 2012. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/02/120202151717.htm>.
Wiley-Blackwell. (2012, February 2). Rituximab possible treatment option for patients with primary biliary cirrhosis. ScienceDaily. Retrieved March 1, 2015 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/02/120202151717.htm
Wiley-Blackwell. "Rituximab possible treatment option for patients with primary biliary cirrhosis." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/02/120202151717.htm (accessed March 1, 2015).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Health & Medicine News

Sunday, March 1, 2015

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Could a $34 Smartphone Device Improve HIV Diagnosis in Africa?

Could a $34 Smartphone Device Improve HIV Diagnosis in Africa?

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Feb. 27, 2015) A dongle that plugs into a Smartphone mimics a lab-based blood test for HIV and syphilis and can detect the diseases in 15 minutes, say researchers. Tara Cleary reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Doctor Says Head Transplants Possible Within Two Years

Doctor Says Head Transplants Possible Within Two Years

Buzz60 (Feb. 27, 2015) An Italian doctor is saying he could stick someone&apos;s head onto someone else&apos;s body. Patrick Jones (@Patrick_E_Jones) reports. Video provided by Buzz60
Powered by NewsLook.com
How Your Dentist Could Help Screen You For Diabetes

How Your Dentist Could Help Screen You For Diabetes

Newsy (Feb. 27, 2015) A new study from researchers at New York University suggests dentists could soon use blood samples taken from patients&apos; mouths to test for diabetes. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
The Best Tips to Makeover Your Health

The Best Tips to Makeover Your Health

Buzz60 (Feb. 27, 2015) If you&apos;re looking to boost your health this season, there are a few quick and easy steps to prompt you for success. Krystin Goodwin (@Krystingoodwin) has the best tips to give your health a makeover this spring! Video provided by Buzz60
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins