Primary immune thrombocytopenia (ITP) is an autoimmune disease mediated by the production of auto-antibody against platelets. Rituximab, an anti-CD20 antibody, is reported to be useful for treatment of ITP. In Japan, however, robust evidence on this treatment has not been accumulated. Hence, we conducted this open-label phase III clinical trial to confirm the efficacy and safety of rituximab, administered at 375 mg/m2 once per week at weekly intervals for 4 consecutive weeks in Japanese patients with chronic ITP, who had relapsed and were refractory to conventional therapy. The primary endpoint was defined as the percentage of patients with a platelet count above 50 × 109/L at week 24 after the first dose of rituximab, which was 30.8 % of 26 patients (95 % confidence interval 14.3–51.8 %). Although the lower confidence limit of primary endpoint failed to meet the pre-specified threshold of 20 %, the clinical efficacy of rituximab is substantial in consideration of the 2 % response rate in the placebo arm in other clinical studies in patients with chronic ITP. We conclude that rituximab is clinically useful and safe in the treatment of Japanese patients with chronic ITP, achieving the goal of maintaining platelet count and reducing risk of bleeding while minimizing treatment-related toxicity.
- Immune thrombocytopenia
ASJC Scopus subject areas