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Lab Reports
November 2, 2011

Antibody Drugs and Arthritis

JAMA. 2011;306(17):1853. doi:10.1001/jama.2011.1574

A new study suggests it may be possible to predict nonresponsiveness to antibody therapy in patients with rheumatoid arthritis (Owczarczyk K et al. Sci Transl Med. 2011;3[101]:101ra92).

Rituximab and ocrelizumab, antibodies that target the CD20 molecule on the surface of B cells, are effective in about half of patients with rheumatoid arthritis. Previous studies have shown that a persistence of B cells in the blood following antibody therapy correlates with impaired response. Immature plasma B cells, or plasmablasts, that do not express CD20 resist B cell depletion.

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