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Sunday 01 August 2004

Combined therapy with rituximab plus cyclophosphamide/doxorubicin/vincristine/prednisone (CHOP) for Sjogren's syndrome-associated B-cell aggressive non-Hodgkin's lymphomas.

By: Voulgarelis M, Giannouli S, Anagnostou D, Tzioufas AG.

Rheumatology (Oxford) 2004 Aug;43(8):1050-3

OBJECTIVE: To determine the safety and therapeutic response of a regimen consisting of cyclophosphamide/doxorubicin/vincristine/prednisone (CHOP) plus rituximab in patients with Sjogren's syndrome (SS) and aggressive non-Hodgkin's lymphoma (NHL). METHODS: Four SS patients with aggressive marginal zone NHL were enrolled in this trial. All patients were classified according to the newly proposed revised European-American classification of lymphoid neoplasms. Three out of four patients also had mixed cryoglobulinaemia (MC) of type II. They were treated every 3 weeks for eight cycles of CHOP. Patients also received rituximab, at a dose of 375 mg per square metre, on day 1 of each of the eight cycles of CHOP. Four weeks after completion of the eighth course of CHOP plus rituximab and every 6 months thereafter, patients were re-evaluated for response. RESULTS: Complete remission of lymphoma was achieved in all four patients. The lymphoma patients remained in remission for a period of 23, 15, 12 and 10 months respectively, while certain signs and symptoms of MC type II (purpura, peripheral neuropathy and arthralgias) significantly improved with treatment. In addition, the titres of circulating cryoglobulins and RF decreased, while C4 levels returned to normal. CONCLUSION: CHOP plus rituximab was well tolerated and proved effective in SS patients with aggressive NHL. Our observations may warrant a larger controlled trial to assess the effectiveness of this regimen in such patients.

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