Alteration in antibody-mediated immunity in patients with rituximab-combined chemotherapy and incidence of herpes zoster

Kaori Ito, Masataka Okamoto, Fumio Maruyama, Kosuke Handa, Yukiya Yamamoto, Masato Watanabe, Motohiro Tsuzuki, Shuichi Mizuta, Satomi Kumazawa, Hideki Ohta, Itsuko Nakano, Nobuhiko Emi

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7 Citations (Scopus)


Rituximab, a chimeric monoclonal antibody against the CD20 protein, has an antineoplastic effect resulting from antibody-dependent cellular cytotoxicity (ADCC) and complement-dependent cytotoxicity (CDC). In patients with rituximab-combined chemotherapy, a decline in immunoglobulin can be observed. This is more likely to cause virus reactivation, such as Herpes (H) zoster. However, this fact has not reported in a large-scale study. In order to research immunodeficiency conditions in patients with rituximab-combined therapy, we examined the alteration in immunoglobulin level throughout the treatment among 205 cases with B-cell lymphoma. We also studied the prevalence of H. zoster in those cases. The IgG level throughout the treatment was measured in 89 patients in the research. The median post-chemotherapy IgG level was 41.1% lower than its pre-chemotherapy IgG level. In 58 cases, the IgG level following chemotherapy was below the normal level. In 22 cases, the IgG level dropped to less than half of the pre-chemotherapy level. H. zoster developed in 17 cases (8.3%). There was no significant difference in IgG level between H. zoster-onset cases and non-H. zoster-onset cases. Antibody-mediated immunity can decrease greatly and prolong in cases with rituximab in combination with chemotherapy. Therefore, infection control is considered to be important.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)99-102
Number of pages4
JournalJapanese Journal of Cancer and Chemotherapy
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 01-2010
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Medicine(all)


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