Archive for March, 2011

“Rituximab”- a new hope for Thyroid Eye Disease?

Thyroid Eye Disease and Its Healing

“Rituximab appears to have a significant effect on thyroid eye disease that requires further randomized controlled studies”- this is what says a recent study about a new drug called Rituximab. Is Rituximab the new HOPE?

The information below is quoted from a recently conducted clinical trial on Thyroid Eye Disease with the following authors:

Silkiss RZ, Reier A, Coleman M, Lauer SA.Rituximab for Thyroid Eye Disease.Ophthal Plast Reconstr Surg 2010.DOI: 10.1097/IOP.0b013e3181c4dfde

Rituximab is an intravenously administered chimeric mouse-human monoclonal antibody that targets the CD20 antigen on pre-B and mature B lymphocytes.Hematopoietic stem cells, pro-B cells and normal plasma cells do not express the CD20 antigen, thus rituximab does not induce significant immunosuppression.The Food and Drug Administration approved rituximab in 1997 for the treatment of B-cell non-Hodgkin lymphoma, and in 2006 it was approved for the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis and is now being studied as a possible treatment for a number of other autoimmune diseases.Limited information has suggested that rituximab results in B cell depletion in the thyroid gland of patients with Graves’ disease, and a study of the decline in production of specific thyroid stimulating autoantibodies has been reported.

This is a prospective, open-label, interventional clinical trial study that reports the results of a phase I/II safety and efficacy trial of 12 patients treated with rituximab for TED and their 1-year posttreatment clinical course.


Twelve patients with active TED were treated with 2 courses of Rituximab over a 2-week period. There were no adverse effects of the Rituximab infusions and no reported side effects during 1year after the infusion of the drug. There was a significant improvement in CAS scores that was observed 1 month after infusion of Rituximab that was sustained throughout the 12-month observation period.

In conclusion, Rituximab appears to be a drug with promise, but requires larger prospective randomized studies to settle the differences reported in the literature.

I really hope that this can help the thousands of people suffering Thyroid Eye Disease, or Grave’s ophtalmopathy, when nothing else helped.

Feel free to share any experience or information you may have about similar studies.

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