Maintenance rituximab in follicular non-Hodgkin lymphoma: Facts and controversies

Chadi Nabhan, Sonali M. Smith, Brad S. Kahl

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


The advent of rituximab, a chimeric monoclonal antibody against CD20, has arguably improved and changed the natural history of non-Hodgkin lymphoma and has become an essential component of front-line and relapsed disease treatment strategies. Given its tolerability and long half-life, rituximab has been investigated in the maintenance setting in follicular lymphoma. Several landmark studies have demonstrated improvement in progression-free survival in patients receiving maintenance rituximab compared to those observed. These favorable results were witnessed in front-line and in the relapsed setting using a variety of induction programs such as rituximab monotherapy or chemoimmunotherapy. Importantly, toxicities were predictable and manageable. Despite these encouraging results, many vital and practical questions remain unanswered. In this review, we critically analyze the data that led to the widespread use of maintenance rituximab in follicular lymphoma and attempt to answer the most important questions facing practicing oncologists when deciding on using this approach in their patients.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)770-778
Number of pages9
JournalLeukemia and Lymphoma
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 2012


  • Rituximab
  • follicular lymphoma
  • immunotherapy
  • maintenance
  • maintenance rituximab
  • non-Hodgkin lymphoma


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