Serum B-lymphocyte stimulator (BLyS) levels are elevated in a subset of non-Hodgkin lymphoma (NHL) patients, particularly those with a family history of B-cell malignancies or a polymorphism in the BLyS gene. BLyS promotes growth of malignant B-cells and increased serum BLyS levels are associated with a poor clinical outcome. In this study, BLyS levels were measured before and after 4 weekly doses of rituximab in 30 patients with previously untreated follicular Grade 1 NHL. A significant increase was seen in the serum levels of BLyS (P = 0.0001) after rituximab therapy. The increase was independent of genetic variability in the BLyS gene. Am. J. Hematol.
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