Monthly Archives: March 2007

No one asks to be “chosen” for chronic illness and/or pain.  There are, however, choices you can make which can either empower you or allow you to be a victim of circumstances.  Not feeling you are in total control does not mean you have no control but most of life is varying shades of grey. 

Rituximab (RTX) is anti-CD20 chimeric antibody that selectively targets B cells.  CD20 is a molecule that functions as an antigen for it.  CD20 is expressed on mature antibody producing B cells, but not on plasma cells.(1) The FDA has approved the use of Rituximab for the treatment of B cell lymphomas.(2) Since the pathogenic and clinical manifestations of PV appear to be antibody related, it could be hypothesized that eliminating the pathogenic antibody and the cells that produce it, might be more effective than general nonspecific immune suppression.  This is the rationale for using Rituximab in treating pemphigus vulgaris.  Indeed, success with the Rituximab has been observed in many autoimmune diseases which are mediated by antibodies such as systemic lupus erythematosus and immune thrombocytopenic purpura.(3)

Mucous Membrane Pemphigoid, also known as Cicatricial Pemphigoid, is a serious autoimmune blistering disorder that can result in blindness and other complications as the result of scarring of the mucous membranes.  To our knowledge, there have been 2 reported uses of Etanercept for MMP in the literature.