In this randomized multicenter study of 136 patients, 6 courses of CHOP (cyclophosphamide/doxorubicin/vincristine/prednisone) followed by rituximab (CHOP-R) were compared with rituximab-supplemented high-dose sequential chemotherapy with autografting (R-HDS) to assess the value of intensified chemotherapy as a first-line treatment for high-risk follicular lymphoma (FL) after the introduction of monoclonal antibodies. The analysis was intention to treat with event-free survival (EFS) as the primary endpoint. Complete remission (CR) was 62% with CHOP-R and 85% with R-HDS (P <.001). At a median follow-up (MFU) of 51 months, the 4-year EFS was 28% and 61%, respectively (P <.001), with no difference in overall survival (OS). Molecular remission (MR) was achieved in 44% of CHOP-R and 80% of R-HDS patients (P <.001), and was the strongest independent outcome predictor. Patients relapsing after CHOP-R underwent salvage R-HDS in 71% of cases. Salvage R-HDS had an 85% CR rate and a 68% 3-year EFS (MFU, 30 months). We conclude that (1) achieving MR is critical for effective disease control, regardless of which treatment is used; (2) R-HDS ensures superior disease control and molecular outcome than CHOP-R, but no OS improvement; and (3) CHOP-R failures have a good outcome after salvage R-HDS, suggesting that relapsed/refractory FL could be the most appropriate setting for R-HDS-like treatments. This trial was registered at www.clinicaltrials.gov as no. NCT00435955.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cell Biology