Empowering targeted therapy: lessons from rituximab.

Adam J. Olszewski, Michael L. Grossbard

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

35 Scopus citations


Rituximab, a monoclonal antibody directed against the B cell-specific protein CD20, has revolutionized lymphoma treatment by providing a highly effective form of therapy with relatively mild toxic side effects. Effective as a single agent against some forms of B cell lymphoma, rituximab also has a chemosensitizing effect, enhancing the efficacy of chemotherapy against other forms of the disease. Although the mechanisms whereby rituximab achieves its effects remain incompletely understood, these seem to involve at least three distinct phenomena: (i) antibody-dependent cell-mediated cytotoxicity, (ii) complement-mediated cell lysis, and (iii) stimulation of apoptosis in target cells. The latter occurs through interaction of complexes of rituximab and CD20 in lipid rafts, with elements of a signaling pathway involving Src kinases. Effector molecules trigger various gene expression events, leading to sensitization of malignant cells to proapoptotic stimuli. Lessons learned from the research on rituximab may be applied to the rational development of antibody-based therapies against other forms of cancer.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)pe30
JournalScience's STKE : signal transduction knowledge environment
Issue number241
StatePublished - 13 Jul 2004
Externally publishedYes


Dive into the research topics of 'Empowering targeted therapy: lessons from rituximab.'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this