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A 55-year-old member asked:

is rytuxin considered chemothrapy?

2 doctor answers6 doctors weighed in
Dr. Ralph Morgan Lewis
Family Medicine 38 years experience
Yes & no: Technically it is a monoclonal antibody used in autoimmune conditions like rheumatoid arthritis, but it is also used like chemotherapy in treating non-hodgkin lymphoma & dc20+ cll (chronic lymphocytic leukemia).
Dr. Andrew Turrisi
Radiation Oncology 47 years experience
Retuxin is an: Antibody directed against cd-20, which marks b-lymphocytes. So, the "biotherapy" destroys b cells with this marker, and many lymphomas have this characteristic. Iodine 125 and yttrium 90 have been bonded to form the products Bexxar (tositumomab) and zevlin to deliver targeted bioradiotherpy to b cell tumors. Rituximab has also been used in rheumatoid arthritis. It works; it's expensive.

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A 55-year-old member asked:

I asked the question before if rytuxin was a chemotherapy drug. 50% of the doctors said no and the other 50% said yes. So what is the true answer?

2 doctor answers3 doctors weighed in
Dr. Andrew Turrisi
Radiation Oncology 47 years experience
The answer is: That it is not chemotherapy. It is anti-cancer therapy. Chemo kills indiscriminately, causing toxicity to a variety of organs, this agent is directed to a specific target, the cd-20 receptor. To quote/parapharase a the famous "few good men" line, you have been given the truth, but you can't handle (understand) it. Why do you need the distinction?
Dr. Scott Diede
A Verified Doctor commented
A US doctor answered Learn more
One could argue that Rituxan also "kills indiscriminately" since all normal B-cells are CD20 positive and Rituxan kills off your B-cells for quite a number of months, depending on the regimen. It all depends on how you define chemotherapy. Also, just to play Devil's advocate, Rituxan has many non-oncologic uses....
Nov 11, 2013

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Last updated Jul 1, 2014
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