This guidance updates and replaces NICE technology appraisal 37 (published in May 2002).

The Institute reviews each piece of guidance it issues. The review and re-appraisal of the use of rituximab for the treatment of relapsed or refractory stage III or IV follicular non-Hodgkin's lymphoma has resulted in a change in the guidance. In people with relapsed stage III or IV follicular non-Hodgkin's lymphoma, rituximab is now an option in combination with chemotherapy to induce remission or alone as maintenance therapy during remission. Rituximab monotherapy is also an option for people with relapsed or refractory disease when all alternative treatment options have been exhausted.

Your responsibility

The recommendations in this guidance represent the view of NICE, arrived at after careful consideration of the evidence available. When exercising their judgement, health professionals are expected to take this guidance fully into account, alongside the individual needs, preferences and values of their patients. The application of the recommendations in this guidance is at the discretion of health professionals and their individual patients and do not override the responsibility of healthcare professionals to make decisions appropriate to the circumstances of the individual patient, in consultation with the patient and/or their carer or guardian.

Commissioners and/or providers have a responsibility to provide the funding required to enable the guidance to be applied when individual health professionals and their patients wish to use it, in accordance with the NHS Constitution. They should do so in light of their duties to have due regard to the need to eliminate unlawful discrimination, to advance equality of opportunity and to reduce health inequalities.

Commissioners and providers have a responsibility to promote an environmentally sustainable health and care system and should assess and reduce the environmental impact of implementing NICE recommendations wherever possible.