Purpose: To investigate the impact of adding rituximab to intensive chemotherapy with peripheral-blood progenitor cell (PBPC) autograft for high-risk diffuse large B-cell lymphoma (DLB-CL) and follicular lymphoma (FL). Patients and Methods: Data were collected from 10 centers associated with Gruppo Italiano Terapie Innnovative nei Linfomi for 522 patients with DLB-CL and 223 patients with FL (median age, 47 years) who received the original or a modified high-dose sequential (HDS) chemotherapy regimen. HDS was delivered to 396 patients without (R-) and to 349 patients with (R+) rituximab; 154 (39%) and 178 patients (51%) in the R- and R+ subsets, respectively, underwent HDS for relapsed/refractory disease. Results: A total of 355 R- (90%) and 309 R+ patients (88%) completed the final PBPC autograft. Early treatment-related mortality was 3.3% for R- and 2.8% for R+ (P = not significant). Two parameters significantly influenced the outcome: disease status at HDS, with 5-year overall survival (OS) projections of 69% versus 57% for diagnosis versus refractory/relapsed status, respectively, and rituximab addition, with 5-year OS of 69% versus 60% in the R+ versus R-groups, respectively. In the multivariate analysis, these two variables maintained an independent prognostic value. The marked benefit of rituximab was evident in patients receiving HDS as salvage treatment: the 5-year OS projections for R+ versus R- were, respectively, 64% versus 38%, for patients with refractory disease or early relapse and 71% versus 57%, for patients with late relapse, partial response, or second/third relapse. Conclusion: The results of this large series indicate that rituximab should be included in the current practice of PBPC autograft for DLB-CL and FL.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cancer Research