Purpose To determine if maintenance rituximab (MR) after standard chemotherapy improves progression- free survival (PFS) in advanced-stage indolent lymphoma. Patients and Methods Patients with stage III-IV indolent lymphoma with responding or stable disease after cyclophosphamide, vincristine, and prednisone (CVP) chemotherapy were stratified by initial tumor burden, residual disease after CVP (minimal or gross), and histology, and randomly assigned to observation (OBS) or MR 375 mg/m2 once per week for 4 weeks every 6 months for 2 years. PFS was the primary end point. Results Three hundred eleven (282 with follicular lymphoma) evaluable patients who received CVP were randomly assigned to OBS (n = 158) or MR (n = 153). Best response improved in 22% MR versus 7% OBS patients (P =.00006). Toxicity was minimal in both study arms. Three-year PFS after random assignment was 68% MR versus 33% OBS (hazard ratio [HR] = 0.4; P = 4.4 × 10-10 [all patients]) and 64% MR v33% OBS (HR = 0.4; P = 9.2 × 10-8 [patients with follicular lymphoma]). There was an advantage for MR regardless of Follicular Lymphoma International Prognostic Index score, tumor burden, residual disease, or histology. In multivariate analysis of MR patients, minimal disease after CVP was a favorable prognostic factor. OS at 3 years was 92% MR versus 86% OBS (HR = 0.6; log-rank one-sided P =.05) and, among patients with follicular lymphoma, OS was 91% MR versus 86% (HR = 0.6; log-rank one-sided P =.08). A trend favoring MR was observed among patients with high tumor burden (log-rank one-sided P =.03). Conclusion The E1496 study provides the first phase III data in untreated indolent lymphoma that MR after chemotherapy significantly prolongs PFS.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Cancer Research