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Tuesday 01 March 2005

Rituximab plus infusional cyclophosphamide, doxorubicin, and etoposide in HIV-associated non-Hodgkin lymphoma: pooled results from 3 phase 2 trials.

By: Spina M, Jaeger U, Sparano JA, Talamini R, Simonelli C, Michieli M, Rossi G, Nigra E, Berretta M, Cattaneo C, Rieger AC, Vaccher E, Tirelli U.

Blood 2005 Mar 1;105(5):1891-7

Evidence suggests that infusional therapy is a more effective means for administering cytotoxic therapy than intravenous bolus therapy for lymphoma and offers greater potential for therapeutic synergy with rituximab, which has a long half-life. We pooled the results of 3 prospective phase 2 trials evaluating rituximab in combination with 96-hour infusion of cyclophosphamide (187.5-200 mg/m2 per day), doxorubicin (12.5 mg/m2 per day), and etoposide (60 mg/m2 per day) (R-CDE) plus granulocyte-colony-stimulating factor (G-CSF) in 74 patients with HIV-associated, B-cell non-Hodgkin lymphoma, of whom 56 (76%) patients received concurrent highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART). The complete remission (CR) rate was 70% (95% confidence interval [CI], 59%-81%), and the estimated 2-year failure-free survival and overall survival rates were 59% (95% CI, 47%-71%) and 64% (95% CI, 52%-76%), respectively. Ten (14%) patients had opportunistic infections during or within 3 months of the end of R-CDE, and 17 (23%) patients developed nonopportunistic infections after that time. Six (8%) patients died because of infection; 2 (3%) of those infections were bacterial sepsis during R-CDE, and 4 (5%) were opportunistic infections that occurred between 2 and 8 months after the completion of R-CDE. R-CDE produced a 70% CR rate and a 59% 2-year failure-free survival rate in patients with HIV-associated lymphoma. Consistent with other reports, adding rituximab to cytotoxic therapy in this population may increase the risk for life-threatening infection. Further studies evaluating rituximab in combination with infusional chemotherapy are warranted, but caution is advised.

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