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Milestones in the Development of Rituximab

An article on targeted therapy for B-cell lymphoma by Ronald D. Levy, MD, David G. Maloney, MD, PhD, and Richard Miller, MD, and these accompanying milestones were published in December 2008 as part of the special ASH anniversary brochure, 50 Years in Hematology: Research That Revolutionized Patient Care.

Monoclonal antibodies are developed by Georges J.F. Köhler and César Milstein to fight cancer. Their technique allows a specific antibody molecule to be produced in unlimited quantities.
1982 The first successful treatment of a cancer patient with a monoclonal antibody takes place.
1993 For the first time, rituximab is used to treat lymphoma.
1997 The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approves rituximab for the treatment of lymphoma.
2008 Nine monoclonal antibodies are approved by the FDA for the treatment of various cancers.