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      Tumour targeting and radiation dose of radioimmunotherapy with 90Y-rituximab in CD20+ B-cell lymphoma as predicted by 89Zr-rituximab immuno-PET: impact of preloading with unlabelled rituximab

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          To compare using immuno-PET/CT the distribution of 89Zr-labelled rituximab without and with a preload of unlabelled rituximab to assess the impact of preloading with unlabelled rituximab on tumour targeting and radiation dose of subsequent radioimmunotherapy with 90Y-labelled rituximab in CD20+ B-cell lymphoma.


          Five patients with CD20+ B-cell lymphoma and progressive disease were prospectively enrolled. All patients underwent three study phases: initial dosimetric phase with baseline 89Zr-rituximab PET/CT imaging without a cold preload, followed 3 weeks later by a second dosimetric phase with administration of a standard preload (250 mg/m 2) of unlabelled rituximab followed by injection of 89Zr-rituximab, and a therapeutic phase 1 week later with administration of unlabelled rituximab followed by 90Y-rituximab. PET/CT imaging and tracer uptake by organs and lesions were assessed.


          With a cold rituximab preload, the calculated whole-body dose of 90Y-rituximab was similar (mean 0.87 mSv/MBq, range 0.82–0.99 mSv/MBq) in all patients. Without a preload, an increase in whole-body dose of 59 % and 87 % was noted in two patients with preserved circulating CD20+ B cells. This increase in radiation dose was primarily due to a 12.4-fold to 15-fold higher dose to the spleen without a preload. No significant change in whole-body dose was noted in the three other patients with B-cell depletion. Without a preload, consistently higher tumour uptake was noticed in patients with B-cell depletion.


          Administration of the standard preload of unlabelled rituximab impairs radioconjugate tumour targeting in the majority of patients eligible for radioimmunotherapy, that is patients previously treated with rituximab-containing therapeutic regimens. This common practice may need to be reconsidered and further evaluated as the rationale for this high preload has its origin in the “prerituximab era”.

          Clinical Trial Application: CTA 2011-005474-38

          Trial Registry: EudraCT

          Electronic supplementary material

          The online version of this article (doi:10.1007/s00259-015-3025-6) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.

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          Most cited references 37

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          CHOP chemotherapy plus rituximab compared with CHOP alone in elderly patients with diffuse large-B-cell lymphoma.

          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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            Frontline therapy with rituximab added to the combination of cyclophosphamide, doxorubicin, vincristine, and prednisone (CHOP) significantly improves the outcome for patients with advanced-stage follicular lymphoma compared with therapy with CHOP alone: results of a prospective randomized study of the German Low-Grade Lymphoma Study Group.

            Phase 2 studies suggest that the monoclonal antibody rituximab may improve the prognosis of patients with follicular lymphoma (FL) when it is added to chemotherapy. In the current study, 428 patients with untreated, advanced-stage FL were randomly assigned for therapy with cyclophosphamide, doxorubicin, vincristine, and prednisone (CHOP) alone (n = 205) or CHOP combined with rituximab (R-CHOP) (n = 223). R-CHOP reduced the relative risk for treatment failure by 60% and significantly prolonged the time to treatment failure (P < .001). In addition, a significantly higher overall response rate (96% vs 90%; P = .011) and a prolonged duration of remission (P = .001) were achieved. In spite of a relatively short observation time, these beneficial effects even translated to superior overall survival (P = .016), with 6 deaths in the R-CHOP group compared with 17 deaths in the CHOP group within the first 3 years. The predominant treatment-related adverse effect was myelosuppression. Severe granulocytopenia was more frequently observed after R-CHOP (63% vs 53%; P = .01). However, severe infections were rare and of similar frequency after R-CHOP and CHOP (5% and 7%). Hence, adding rituximab to CHOP significantly improves the outcome for patients with previously untreated advanced-stage FL and does not induce major adverse effects.
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              Rituximab chimeric anti-CD20 monoclonal antibody therapy for relapsed indolent lymphoma: half of patients respond to a four-dose treatment program.

              The CD20 antigen is expressed on more than 90% of B-cell lymphomas. It is appealing for targeted therapy, because it does not shed or modulate. A chimeric monoclonal antibody more effectively mediates host effector functions and is itself less immunogenic than are murine antibodies. This was a multiinstitutional trial of the chimeric anti-CD20 antibody, IDEC-C2B8. Patients with relapsed low grade or follicular lymphoma received an outpatient treatment course of IDEC-C2B8 375 mg/m2 intravenously weekly for four doses. From 31 centers, 166 patients were entered. Of this intent-to-treat group, 48% responded. With a median follow-up duration of 11.8 months, the projected median time to progression for responders is 13.0 months. Serum antibody levels were sustained longer after the fourth infusion than after the first, and were higher in responders and in patients with lower tumor burden. The majority of adverse events occurred during the first infusion and were grade 1 or 2; fever and chills were the most common events. Only 12% of patients had grade 3 and 3% grade 4 toxicities. A human antichimeric antibody was detected in only one patient. The response rate of 48% with IDEC-C2B8 is comparable to results with single-agent cytotoxic chemotherapy. Toxicity was mild. Attention needs to be paid to the rate of antibody infusion, with titration according to toxicity. Further investigation of this agent is warranted, including its use in conjunction with standard chemotherapy.

                Author and article information

                +32 2 5413095 ,
                Eur J Nucl Med Mol Imaging
                Eur. J. Nucl. Med. Mol. Imaging
                European Journal of Nuclear Medicine and Molecular Imaging
                Springer Berlin Heidelberg (Berlin/Heidelberg )
                20 March 2015
                20 March 2015
                : 42
                : 8
                : 1304-1314
                [ ]Jules Bordet Institute, Université Libre de Bruxelles, Brussels, Belgium
                [ ]VU University Medical Centre, Amsterdam, The Netherlands
                [ ]UZ Brussel, Vrije Universiteit Brussel, Brussels, Belgium
                [ ]MIMA Research Group, Vrije Universiteit Brussel, Brussels, Belgium
                [ ]Department of Nuclear Medicine, Jules Bordet Institute, Université Libre de Bruxelles, Waterloolaan 121, B-1000 Brussels, Belgium
                © The Author(s) 2015

                Open Access This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits any use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author(s) and the source are credited.

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                © Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2015


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