Dr. Lyman on Rituximab Biosimilars in Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma | OncLive

Dr. Lyman on Rituximab Biosimilars in Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma

September 19, 2019

Gary H. Lyman, MD, MPH, senior lead, Health Care Quality and Policy, Hutchinson Institute for Cancer Outcomes Research, member, Cancer Prevention Program, Public Health Services Division, and member, Clinical Research Division, Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, discusses the use of rituximab (Rituxan) biosimilars in the treatment of patients with non-Hodgkin lymphoma (NHL).

Gary H. Lyman, MD, MPH, senior lead, Health Care Quality and Policy, Hutchinson Institute for Cancer Outcomes Research, member, Cancer Prevention Program, Public Health Services Division, and member, Clinical Research Division, Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, discusses the use of rituximab (Rituxan) biosimilars in the treatment of patients with non-Hodgkin lymphoma (NHL).

PF-05280586 (rituximab-pvvr; Ruxience), a biosimilar for rituximab, was approved for the treatment of adult patients with CD20-positive B-cell NHL in July 2019, so it’s hard to say what it’s impact will be. However, at the 2018 ASCO Annual Meeting, a European group presented data on the early use of the rituximab biosimilar in patients with lymphoma. The investigators reported that the use of rituximab biosimilars was more favorable in patients with less curable forms of lymphoma, says Lyman. Notably, oncologists were less willing to use these new agents in the curative setting. They reserved the originator product for patients with diffuse large B-cell lymphoma, where the goal of treatment is usually cure.

Now that biosimilars are starting to become approved in the treatment setting, there may be some discrimination as to their use outside the supportive care setting, explains Lyman. Therefore, biosimilars are more likely to be used in patients with metastatic disease or in low-grade lymphoma where the goal is extending life but not necessarily cure, says Lyman. Although these data came from Europe, Lyman anticipates that a similar trend will be seen in the United States.


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