Rituximab in severe pemphigus

Enno Schmidt, Matthias Goebeler, Detlef Zillikens


Pemphigus is a life-threatening autoimmune bullous disorder that requires long-term treatment with systemic corticosteroids mostly in conjunction with further immunosuppressants. Rituximab has opened a new avenue for severe and refractory pemphigus patients. In 95% of the 136 pemphigus patients reported to date in the English, French, and German literature, at least a partial remission has been achieved. In about two-thirds of communicated cases, application of rituximab resulted in the healing of all lesions. A controlled prospective study, however, has only recently being initiated. In pemphigus, rituximab is aimed at resetting the immune system to a condition in which autoreactive B lymphocytes are eliminated or sufficiently controlled. Here, we review mechanisms of action, different treatment protocols, clinical responses, and the safety profile of rituximab.

ZeitschriftAnnals of the New York Academy of Sciences
Seiten (von - bis)683-91
PublikationsstatusVeröffentlicht - 09.2009


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