How Does It Work?An antibody (also known as an immunoglobulin) is a protein made by the immune system. Antibodies attach to antigens, which are proteins found on certain molecules, marking the molecule for destruction by the immune system.
Bexxar is a synthetic (laboratory-made) antibody that binds to a specific antigen known as the CD20 antigen found on the surface of healthy and cancerous B-cells (a type of white blood cell). By binding to the CD20 antigen, Bexxar signals the body to destroy the B-cells.
In addition, Bexxar is linked to a radioactive element called Iodine I-131. When the Bexxar-Iodine I-131 compound attaches to the CD20 antigen, it emits radiation that helps destroy both the B-cell the medicine is attached to and surrounding B-cells.
Is It Safe for Children to Use Bexxar?Bexxar is not approved for use in people younger than 18 years old, as it has not been adequately studied in this age group. Talk to your child's healthcare provider about the risks and benefits of using Bexxar in children.
Can Older Adults Use It?In clinical studies, older adults seemed to be less likely to respond to Bexxar treatment than younger age groups. Older adults may also be more sensitive to the effects of Bexxar on blood cell counts.
However, there were very few older adults included in clinical studies, so it is difficult to say for certain how older adults will respond to this medicine. In general, older individuals who receive Bexxar may need more careful monitoring.