B-lymphocyte depletion in patients with ME/CFS | American Pharmacists Association

B-lymphocyte depletion in patients with ME/CFS | American Pharmacists Association

May 08, 2019 0 Comments

Researchers compared outcomes in patients with myalgic encephalomyelitis/chronic fatigue syndrome (ME/CFS) after exposing them to either B-lymphocyte depletion or placebo. Inspired by earlier studies that suggested the potential of B-lymphocyte depletion in this setting, they chose rituximab as their mechanism of delivery. Researchers compared outcomes in patients with myalgic encephalomyelitis/chronic fatigue syndrome (ME/CFS) after exposing them to either B-lymphocyte depletion or placebo. Inspired by earlier studies that suggested the potential of B-lymphocyte depletion in this setting, they chose rituximab as their mechanism of delivery. The study took place at five hospitals in Norway, where 77 adults were randomly assigned to the monoclonal anti-CD20 antibody. These participants received two initial infusions 2 weeks apart followed by four maintenance infusions at 3, 6, 9, and 12 months. A control cohort, meanwhile, included 74 patients who received placebo only. Overall response rate, one of two main outcomes, was 26.0% for the rituximab group and 35.1% for the placebo group. The other endpoint, repeated measurements of fatigue score over 24 months, were comparable between the two sets of patients. Additionally, 26.0% of the patients on rituximab experienced serious adverse events vs. 18.9% of placebo-takers. Based on the results, the investigators report that B-cell depletion over time with rituximab does not generate clinical improvement in ME/CFS patients. Don't miss out on all the great benefits an APhA membership has to offer. Become a member today and see what APhA can do for you.



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