Guidance on the use of rituximab for the first-line treatment of chronic lymphocytic leukaemia (CLL) has been issued by the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE).
It says that the drug should only be used in combination with fludarabine and cyclophosphamide, and is not recommended for use in combination with any other chemotherapy agents.
CLL is the most common form of adult leukaemia, in which proliferating malfunctioning lymphocytes replace normal white blood cells, red cells and platelets in the bone marrow.
NICE spokeswoman Dr Carole Longson said: “After looking at all of the available evidence, the independent appraisal committee concluded that rituximab represented an effective use of NHS resources.
“This important guidance increases the treatment options available to people with this condition, wherever they live in England and Wales.”
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