This Hematology times article examines research into how CD 20 Monoclonal Antibodies such as Mabthera®/Rituximab/Rituxan (the R in FCR) and obinutuzumab/GAZYVA®, trigger macrophages to engulf and destroy our B-CLL cells when we are treated with immunochemotherapy. What's exciting about this (mouse model research), is the researchers have found that CD20 antibodies actually deliver a two stage response; firstly by labelling the cancerous B-cells for destruction and secondly, by triggering the development of memory T cells that will continue to aid the destruction of new B-cell clones (as long as they have the CD20 marker), long after we are treated. (Given CLL always comes back, this is really exciting news!) They found that they could enhance this memory cell production in mice, which resulted in longer lasting remissions. Could this be the mechanism by which some FCR patients appear to be cured?
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