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New standards of care and novel treatment options for several forms of lymphoma unveiled
Date:12/6/2010

ee years into the trial, a decision was made to discontinue the second arm of the study as evidence of the efficacy of rituximab as a maintenance therapy became apparent. At that point in time, the study became a two-arm comparison study, and a total of 360 patients were enrolled into the two remaining arms. It was estimated that 192 patients would be required to show the 18-month improvement in the two-arm study.

With a median follow up of 34 months, the study found that far fewer patients required a new therapy in both of the rituximab-containing arms compared with the watchful-waiting arm. At three years from randomization, 49 percent of patients in the watchful-waiting arm had not required new therapy, whereas 80 percent of patients in the rituximab induction arm and 91 percent of patients in the rituximab induction and maintenance arm had not required new therapy. At this time, 96 percent of patients in the study remain alive, and there is no difference in overall survival between the three arms.

"This study demonstrates that treating asymptomatic patients with rituximab can significantly prolong the time until a patient may require chemotherapy" said lead study author Kirit M. Ardeshna, MD, Consultant Hematologist, University College London Hospitals in London. "These results will increase the options for the management of newly diagnosed patients with advanced asymptomatic follicular lymphoma, and it is likely that upfront rituximab therapy will prove popular with patients when compared with a watchful-waiting approach."

Dr. Ardeshna will present this study in the Plenary Scientific Session on Sunday, December 5, at 2:00 p.m. in Hall D.

Alternating Courses of 3x CHOP and 3x DHAP Plus Rituximab Followed by a High Dose ARA-C Containing Myeloablative Regimen and Autologous Stem Cell Transplantation (ASCT) Is Superior to 6 Courses CHOP Plus Rituximab Followed by Mye
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Contact: Lindsey Love
llove@hematology.org
540-538-9326
American Society of Hematology
Source:Eurekalert

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