Alexey V. Danilov, MD, PhD, discusses the utility of rituximab biosimilars in chronic lymphocytic leukemia.
Alexey V. Danilov, MD, PhD, associate professor of medicine, Program in Molecular and Cellular Biology, Cancer Biology Graduate Program, Oregon Health & Science University School of Medicine, discusses the utility of rituximab (Rituxan) biosimilars in chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL).
The approval of rituximab in 2010 revolutionized the treatment of patients with CLL; however the novel agent obinutuzumab (Gazyva) demonstrated improved progression-free survival and complete response rate over rituximab when both were combined with chlorambucil in the phase III CLL11 study.
Obinutuzumab in combination with ibrutinib (Imbruvica) was approved in 2019 for treatment-naïve patients with CLL and marked the first non-chemotherapy combination regimen for these patients.
Though the data favor obinutuzumab, the convenience of the subcutaneous formulation of rituximab may offer a more appealing option for patients, explains Danilov.
In short, Danilov is confident that there will be some degree of rituximab biosimilar utilization in CLL regardless of the frontline options as they may lessen financial burden for patients.