Cancer Home > Bexxar

Bexxar is a prescription medicine used to treat non-Hodgkin's lymphoma in people whose cancer has returned or in those who have not adequately responded to other cancer treatment. It comes as an intravenous injection that is given by your healthcare provider. To protect your thyroid, you will be given certain other medications during treatment. Fever, nausea, and weakness are potential side effects.

What Is Bexxar?

Bexxar® (tositumomab) is a prescription medication approved to treat certain types of non-Hodgkin's lymphoma (cancer of the lymphatic system). It is specifically designed for use in people whose cancer has returned or for those who have failed to respond to other treatments.
Bexxar is a monoclonal antibody. As part of the Bexxar treatment regimen, the antibody is linked to a radioactive element (Iodine I-131). Radioactive treatment such as this is sometimes called radioimmunotherapy. Zevalin® (ibritumomab) is another example of radioimmunotherapy used to treat non-Hodgkin's lymphoma.
(Click Bexxar Uses for more information on this topic, including possible off-label uses.)

Who Makes This Medication?

Bexxar is made by GlaxoSmithKline.

How Does Bexxar 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.
Written by/reviewed by:
Last reviewed by: Kristi Monson, PharmD;
Last updated/reviewed:
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