NICE has made the following recommendations about the use of rituximab (Mab Thera) to treat aggressive non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma.

NICE has recommended that rituximab and the CHOP combination of chemotherapy medicines (a combination of cyclophosphamide, doxorubicin, vincristine and prednisolone) should be the first treatment considered for people with diffuse large-B-cell lymphoma that is at stage 2, 3 or 4. (These people should have CD20 on their B cells – see full guidance document.)

Rituximab is not recommended for people who are unable to have chemotherapy with the CHOP combination.

NICE has said that rituximab should only be used in people with diffuse large-B-cell lymphoma in stage 1 if they are being treated as part of a clinical study. This is because, at present, there isn’t enough evidence that rituximab works well or that it works well enough considering its cost in this group of people for it to be used routinely.

The last recommendation from NICE is that treatment with rituximab and CHOP should be supervised by a doctor who has specialised in the treatment of lymphomas.