This guidance updates and replaces NICE technology appraisal 110 (published in September 2006).

NICE recommends rituximab in combination with certain chemotherapies as a possible treatment for people with stage III–IV follicular lymphoma who haven’t been treated before (first-line treatment). Your doctor should talk to you about which chemotherapies can be used in combination with rituximab.

Who can have rituximab?

You should be able to have rituximab if all of the following apply:

  • you have symptoms
  • you have not had treatment before.

NICE has produced separate guidance on when rituximab can be offered to people with stage III–IV follicular lymphoma who have been treated before.

Why has NICE said this?

NICE looks at how well treatments work, and also at how well they work in relation to how much they cost the NHS.

NICE recommended rituximab in combination with certain chemotherapies because it works better than other treatments available on the NHS. Although it costs more than some other treatments, this was justified by the additional benefits it provided.

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.

  • National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE)