gms | German Medical Science

102. Jahrestagung der DOG

Deutsche Ophthalmologische Gesellschaft e. V.

23. bis 26.09.2004, Berlin

Anti-CD20 monoclonal antibody therapy in relapsed MALT lymphoma of the conjunctiva

Meeting Abstract

  • corresponding author H. Wüstemeyer - Department of Ophthalmology, University Hospital Essen, Essen
  • H. Nückel - Department of Hematology, University Hospital Essen, Essen
  • U. Dührsen - Department of Hematology, University Hospital Essen, Essen
  • K.-P. Steuhl - Department of Ophthalmology, University Hospital Essen, Essen
  • D. Meller - Department of Ophthalmology, University Hospital Essen, Essen

Evidenzbasierte Medizin - Anspruch und Wirklichkeit. 102. Jahrestagung der Deutschen Ophthalmologischen Gesellschaft. Berlin, 23.-26.09.2004. Düsseldorf, Köln: German Medical Science; 2004. Doc04dogP 191

The electronic version of this article is the complete one and can be found online at:

Published: September 22, 2004

© 2004 Wüstemeyer et al.
This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License ( You are free: to Share – to copy, distribute and transmit the work, provided the original author and source are credited.




Low-grade Non-Hodgkin lymphomas may occur in the conjunctiva as MALT-lymphomas. First line therapy is radiotherapy and the disease may be cured by this. However, in 25% of cases recurrences occur. Complications may include sicca disease, corneal ulceration, cataract formation or retinopathy. Rituximab, a anti-CD20 monoclonal antibody has previously been shown to be effective in a variety of other B-cell non-Hodgkin's lymphomas.


Two female patients presented a relapse of a MALT lymphoma of the conjunctiva 38 and 43 months after primary treatment with radiotherapy, respectively. We treated with the anti-CD20 monoclonal antibody rituximab with 375mg/m2 intravenously once a week in a four weeks regime. We performed a clinical follow-up for 32 and 30 months, respectively.


Treatment was well tolerated and resulted in one partial and one complete remission. Further recurrences have not been observed. In one patient visual acuity (VA) decreased from 0.5 before treatment to 1/20 eight months after treatment and an cataract surgery was performed which improved VA to 0.8. In the other case VA was stable at 1.0 for the time of follow-up.


Rituximab is a highly effective and well-tolerated treatment of conjunctival MALT lymphoma which may not only be of value in relapse, but also in cases of contraindication to radiotherapy.