Rituximab (chimeric anti-CD20 mAb) has been used for the treatment of Non Hodgkin B cell lymphomas (B-NHL), alone or in combination with CHOP. However, a subset of patients does not respond to treatment or develops refractoriness to further treatments. Therefore, there is an urgent need to develop new alternatives to treat these patients. We have reported that treatment of B-NHL cell lines with rituximab inhibits anti-apoptotic survival pathways and down regulates the expression of anti-apoptotic Bcl-2 family proteins (i.e. Bcl-2/Bcl-xl) resulting in sensitization to chemotherapeutic drugs. Further, rituximab-resistant clones showed over-expression of anti-apoptotic gene products (
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