Repeat Rituximab Works in Treatment-Resistant Lupus

August 3, 2011 — Despite disappointing results in the EXPLORER and LUNAR randomized trials of rituximab for systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE), clinicians continue to turn to the B-cell depletion drug for patients with refractory disease. Now Tabitha Turner-Stokes, MD, from the Centre for Rheumatology Research, University College Hospital, London, United Kingdom, and colleagues report an observational study of patients with SLE showing that repeated treatment with rituximab can be effective and that retreatment may produce more sustained responses than a single round of rituximab. The study, published in the August issue of Rheumatology, might also help explain the negative results in the earlier randomized, controlled trials.