If you miss an appointment to receive your ibritumomab dose, contact your healthcare provider right away to reschedule.
How Does This Medicine Work?
An antibody (also known as an immunoglobulin) is a protein made by the immune system. Antibodies attach to antigens, which are proteins found on certain molecules, marking the molecule for destruction by the immune system.
Ibritumomab is a synthetic (manufactured) antibody that binds to a specific antigen known as the CD20 antigen found on the surface of healthy and cancerous B-cells (a type of white blood cell). By binding to the CD20 antigen, ibritumomab signals the body to destroy the B-cells.
In addition, ibritumomab is linked to a radioactive element called the Y-90 isotope. The ibritumomab-Y-90 compound emits radiation that helps destroy both the B-cell the medicine is attached to and surrounding B-cells.
In clinical trials, ibritumomab has been shown to decrease the risk of disease progression in people with non-Hodgkin's lymphoma. In these studies, people who received ibritumomab after responding to first-line chemotherapy had a 54 percent decreased risk of their cancer progressing further, compared to people who did not receive any additional treatment.
In another study, 83 percent of people with relapsed or refractory non-Hodgkin's lymphoma responded to treatment with ibritumomab in combination with rituximab. By comparison, only 55 percent of people responded to rituximab treatment alone.
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