NEW YORK (Reuters Health)—Compared with cyclophosphamide, rituximab treatment poses less malignancy risk in patients with antineutrophil cytoplasmic antibody (ANCA)-associated vasculitis (AAV), European researchers report.
Dr. Emma E. van Daalen of Leiden University Medical Center in the Netherlands tells Reuters Health, “Previous studies reported an increased malignancy risk in patients with AAV, which has been associated with exposure to cyclophosphamide and other immunosuppressive agents.”
“Rituximab has emerged as an alternative treatment to cyclophosphamide and is now approved for the treatment of AAV,” she says. However, whether rituximab would influence the malignancy risk was not known, given the findings of two earlier clinical trials.
“In the RAVE trial, six of 124 patients who received rituximab (5%) developed a malignancy, compared with one of 73 patients who were not exposed to rituximab (1%),” Dr. van Daalen observes. “In the RITUXVAS trial, two malignancies were observed in rituximab-treated patients.”