A prospective study to evaluate the feasibility and economic benefits of rapid infusion rituximab at an Asian cancer center
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- Chiang, J., Chan, A., Shih, V. et al. Int J Hematol (2010) 91: 826. doi:10.1007/s12185-010-0583-z
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Rituximab (Mabthera®) is currently approved for the treatment of multiple subtypes of CD20-expressing, B-cell, non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. This study aimed to investigate whether rapid infusion of rituximab over 90 min is feasible without compromising patient’s safety, and to reduce resource utilization at a cancer center. This is a prospective and open label study. Lymphoma patients who have received one cycle of rituximab without experiencing grade 3 or 4 infusional reaction were eligible for the rapid infusion of rituximab. Rapid infusion rituximab is infused over 90 min, with 20% of the dose given over the first 30 min and the remaining 80% over 60 min. A total of 79 patients were recruited for this study with a total of 269 infusions administered. Sixty-nine patients (87.3%) received rituximab in combination with chemotherapy. Average number of rituximab infusions administered to patients was 3.4 cycles. Rapid rituximab infusion schedule was well tolerated without any grade 3/4 infusion-related adverse events observed. An average amount of time saved per patient was 10.2 h. Rapid infusion rituximab over 90 min was well tolerated by patients, and shortened infusions have resulted in substantial reduction of resource utilization.