Gender and duration of disease differentiate responses to rituximab–dexamethasone therapy in adults with immune thrombocytopenia
Purpura, Thrombocytopenic, Idiopathic
Adults often develop chronic immune thrombocytopenia (ITP) for which treatment order is uncertain. Rituximab and three cycles of dexamethasone (4R + 3Dex) improve treatment responses and short-term disease control but long-term outcome is not known. In adults with ITP treated with 4R + 3D, we sought long-term outcome and associated prognostic variables. Forty-nine adults treated at Weill-Cornell received 4R + 3Dex. Their clinical characteristics were reviewed. Duration was median time to treatment failure; Kaplan-Meier estimates were developed. Vbeta Tcell receptor (VBTCR) repertoire was obtained after treatment in 36 patients. Patients were adults with ITP 18-64 years old, median age 37. The 27 females were twice as likely to have an ongoing response to 4R + 3Dex (44.1%) as males (19.6%; P = 0.009). For ITP duration <12 months, 52.7% of patients had continuing responses to 4R + 3Dex compared to 15.3% of patients with diagnosis >12 months (P = 0.02). Females with ITP duration of <12 months had continuing responses in 78.6%, compared to males with <12 months duration of ITP (21.2%). For patients with disease duration <12 months, 67% of females had continuing responses, compared to 31% of males (P = 0.004). Post-treatment polyclonal VBTCR was seen in 9/10 continuing responders (six female, three male) but only 13/26 relapsers/nonresponders (P = 0.068). Durable remissions after treatment with 4R + 3Dex were more frequent in female patients with <12 months of ITP duration and those with polyclonal VBTCR after treatment, emphasizing the roles of duration of disease, gender and T cells in chronic ITP. Differences in pathophysiology of ITP by gender and by duration of ITP require further study. Am. J. Hematol. 91:907-911, 2016. © 2016 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
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