Rituximab should be used with fludarabine and cyclophosphamide to treat patients with resistant leukaemia for the purposes of research, the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) has said.
Publishing its final draft guidance on the condition, NICE said the combination represented an additional treatment option in cases of relapsed or refractory chronic lymphocytic leukaemia.
The organisation also recommended, however, that the cocktail be avoided where the condition has proved resistant to fludarabine in the past or where the patient has previously been treated with rituximab.
“Rituximab, in combination with fludarabine and cyclophosphamide, will offer another treatment option for those patients with relapsed or refractory disease who may benefit most from the drug,” Professor Peter Littlejohns, clinical and public health director at NICE, said.
The organisation has yet to issue its final guidance to the NHS, meaning health trusts should make their own treatment and funding decisions in the interim period.
Copyright Press Association 2010
National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence