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Saturday 01 June 2002

Factors affecting toxicity, response and progression-free survival in relapsed patients with indolent B-cell lymphoma and mantle cell lymphoma treated with rituximab: a Japanese phase II study.

By: Igarashi T, Kobayashi Y, Ogura M, Kinoshita T, Ohtsu T, Sasaki Y, Morishima Y, Murate T, Kasai M, Uike N, Taniwaki M, Kano Y, Ohnishi K, Matsuno Y, Nakamura S, Mori S, Ohashi Y, Tobinai K; IDEC-C2B8 Study Group in Japan.

Ann Oncol 2002 Jun;13(6):928-43

BACKGROUND: The aim of the study was to determine factors affecting the toxicity and efficacy of rituximab monotherapy in relapsed patients with indolent B-cell lymphoma and mantle cell lymphoma (MCL). PATIENTS AND METHODS: A total of 90 patients were enrolled and treated with rituximab infusions at 375 mg/m2 once weekly for 4 weeks. Central pathology review revealed that histologically, 81 patients had indolent B-cell lymphoma or MCL: 59 with follicular lymphoma, 17 with MCL, four with marginal zone lymphoma and one with lymphoplasmacytoid lymphoma. Of these, four were ineligible due to violation of other eligibility criteria. Pre-treatment variables affecting toxicities were analyzed for all 90 patients, and those affecting response and progression-free survival (PFS) were analyzed for 77 eligible patients with confirmed indolent B-cell lymphoma or MCL. The relationship between serum rituximab levels and efficacy was also analyzed for 66 eligible patients. RESULTS: Hematological toxicities (grade > or =3) occurred more frequently in females (P <0.05), and thrombocytopenia and leukopenia were more frequent in patients with high lactate dehydrogenase (LDH) levels (P <0.05). Non-hematological toxicities (grade > or =2) were more frequent in patients with extranodal disease or bone marrow involvement. The overall response rate (ORR) in patients receiving one prior chemotherapy regimen was higher than those receiving two or more regimens (P <0.05). The median PFS was shorter in MCL patients, in those with extranodal disease, or in those receiving two or more prior chemotherapy regimens (P <0.01). The PFS intervals of patients with higher serum rituximab levels (> or =70 microg/ml) immediately before the third infusion were longer than in other patients (P <0.01). CONCLUSIONS: Several prognostic factors and serum rituximab levels are useful for predicting the toxicity and efficacy of rituximab monotherapy.

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