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      CHOP Chemotherapy plus Rituximab Compared with CHOP Alone in Elderly Patients with Diffuse Large-B-Cell Lymphoma

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          Abstract

          The standard treatment for patients with diffuse large-B-cell lymphoma is cyclophosphamide, doxorubicin, vincristine, and prednisone (CHOP). Rituximab, a chimeric monoclonal antibody against the CD20 B-cell antigen, has therapeutic activity in diffuse large-B-cell lymphoma. We conducted a randomized trial to compare CHOP chemotherapy plus rituximab with CHOP alone in elderly patients with diffuse large-B-cell lymphoma. Previously untreated patients with diffuse large-B-cell lymphoma, 60 to 80 years old, were randomly assigned to receive either eight cycles of CHOP every three weeks (197 patients) or eight cycles of CHOP plus rituximab given on day 1 of each cycle (202 patients). The rate of complete response was significantly higher in the group that received CHOP plus rituximab than in the group that received CHOP alone (76 percent vs. 63 percent, P=0.005). With a median follow-up of two years, event-free and overall survival times were significantly higher in the CHOP-plus-rituximab group (P<0.001 and P=0.007, respectively). The addition of rituximab to standard CHOP chemotherapy significantly reduced the risk of treatment failure and death (risk ratios, 0.58 [95 percent confidence interval, 0.44 to 0.77] and 0.64 [0.45 to 0.89], respectively). Clinically relevant toxicity was not significantly greater with CHOP plus rituximab. The addition of rituximab to the CHOP regimen increases the complete-response rate and prolongs event-free and overall survival in elderly patients with diffuse large-B-cell lymphoma, without a clinically significant increase in toxicity.

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          Most cited references 22

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          A predictive model for aggressive non-Hodgkin's lymphoma. The International Non-Hodgkin's Lymphoma Prognostic Factors Project.

          Although many patients with intermediate-grade or high-grade (aggressive) non-Hodgkin's lymphoma are cured by combination chemotherapy, the remainder are not cured and ultimately die of their disease. The Ann Arbor classification, used to determine the stage of this disease, does not consistently distinguish between patients with different long-term prognoses. This project was undertaken to develop a model for predicting outcome in patients with aggressive non-Hodgkin's lymphoma on the basis of the patients' clinical characteristics before treatment. Adults with aggressive non-Hodgkin's lymphoma from 16 institutions and cooperative groups in the United States, Europe, and Canada who were treated between 1982 and 1987 with combination-chemotherapy regimens containing doxorubicin were evaluated for clinical features predictive of overall survival and relapse-free survival. Features that remained independently significant in step-down regression analyses of survival were incorporated into models that identified groups of patients of all ages and groups of patients no more than 60 years old with different risks of death. In 2031 patients of all ages, our model, based on age, tumor stage, serum lactate dehydrogenase concentration, performance status, and number of extranodal disease sites, identified four risk groups with predicted five-year survival rates of 73 percent, 51 percent, 43 percent, and 26 percent. In 1274 patients 60 or younger, an age-adjusted model based on tumor stage, lactate dehydrogenase level, and performance status identified four risk groups with predicted five-year survival rates of 83 percent, 69 percent, 46 percent, and 32 percent. In both models, the increased risk of death was due to both a lower rate of complete responses and a higher rate of relapse from complete response. These two indexes, called the international index and the age-adjusted international index, were significantly more accurate than the Ann Arbor classification in predicting long-term survival. The international index and the age-adjusted international index should be used in the design of future therapeutic trials in patients with aggressive non-Hodgkin's lymphoma and in the selection of appropriate therapeutic approaches for individual patients.
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            Comparison of a standard regimen (CHOP) with three intensive chemotherapy regimens for advanced non-Hodgkin's lymphoma.

            CHOP is a first-generation, combination-chemotherapy regimen consisting of cyclophosphamide, doxorubicin, vincristine, and prednisone that has cured approximately 30 percent of patients with advanced stages of intermediate-grade or high-grade non-Hodgkin's lymphoma in national cooperative-group trials. However, studies at single institutions have suggested that 55 to 65 percent of such patients might be cured by third-generation regimens such as ones consisting of low-dose methotrexate with leucovorin rescue, bleomycin, doxorubicin, cyclophosphamide, vincristine, and dexamethasone (m-BACOD); prednisone, doxorubicin, cyclophosphamide, and etoposide, followed by cytarabine, bleomycin, vincristine, and methotrexate with leucovorin rescue (ProMACE-CytaBOM); and methotrexate with leucovorin rescue, doxorubicin, cyclophosphamide, vincristine, prednisone, and bleomycin (MACOP-B). To make a valid comparison of these regimens, the Southwest Oncology Group and the Eastern Cooperative Oncology Group initiated a prospective, randomized phase III trial. The study end points were the response rate, time to treatment failure, overall survival, and incidence of severe or life-threatening toxicity. Dose intensity was calculated and analyzed. Of the 1138 patients registered for the trial, 899 were eligible. Each treatment group contained at least 218 patients. Known prognostic factors were equally distributed among the groups. There were no significant differences among the groups in the rates of partial and complete response. At three years, 44 percent of all patients were alive without disease; there were no significant differences between the groups (41 percent in the CHOP and MACOP-B groups and 46 percent in the m-BACOD and ProMACE-CytaBOM groups; P = 0.35). Overall survival at three years was 52 percent (50 percent in the ProMACE-CytaBOM and MACOP-B groups, 52 percent in the m-BACOD group, and 54 percent in the CHOP group; P = 0.90). There was no subgroup of patients in which survival was improved by a third-generation regimen. Fatal toxic reactions occurred in 1 percent of the CHOP group, 3 percent of the ProMACE-CytaBOM group, 5 percent of the m-BACOD group, and 6 percent of the MACOP-B group (P = 0.09). CHOP remains the best available treatment for patients with advanced-stage intermediate-grade or high-grade non-Hodgkin's lymphoma.
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              Report of an International Workshop to Standardize Response Criteria for Non-Hodgkin's Lymphomas

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                Author and article information

                Journal
                New England Journal of Medicine
                N Engl J Med
                Massachusetts Medical Society
                0028-4793
                1533-4406
                January 24 2002
                January 24 2002
                : 346
                : 4
                : 235-242
                Article
                10.1056/NEJMoa011795
                11807147
                © 2002
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