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Study shows that maintenance rituximab is useful for advanced indolent lymphoma
Date:3/10/2009

A new study has found for the first time that maintenance therapy with the novel antibody, rituximab (MR) following cyclophosphamide, vincristine and prednisone (CVP) therapy improves progression-free survival in patients with stage III-IV indolent lymphoma, according to Howard S. Hochster, M.D. of NYU Langone Medical Center, lead author of a recent study published online ahead of print in the Journal of Clinical Oncology.

In a study, sponsored by the National Institutes of Health and conducted by the Eastern Cooperative Oncology Group (ECOG) titled, "Maintenance Rituximab After Cyclophosphamide, Vincristine, and Prednisone Prolongs Progression-Free Survival in Advanced Indolent Lymphoma: Results of the Randomized Phase III ECOG1496 Study," researchers looked at 311 patients with stable or responding disease after CVP therapy. The patients were randomly assigned to observation only or a maintenance rituximab (MR) 375 mg/square meter once per week for 4 weeks every 6 months for 2 years. Results are the first phase III data showing patients with untreated indolent lymphoma can be given (MR) after chemotherapy with minimal toxicity to prevent relapse.

"Low grade lymphoma is very treatable, with patients living many years on the average," says Howard Hochster, M.D. professor of medicine and clinical pharmacology at NYU School of Medicine and director of gastrointestinal oncology and early drug development at the NYU Cancer Institute. "But no one treatment to date has been able to show benefit on long term survival. This reasonably non-toxic antibody can improve disease free survival by several years and possibly effect overall survival. In this group of patients, even 10 years of observation is a little too soon to show survival benefits, but the trend is present."

An improved disease response was seen in 22% of rituximab-treated patients versus just 7% of control subjects. Toxic effects were minimal in both groups. Three ye
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Contact: Dorie Klissas
dorie.klissas@nyumc.org
212-404-3555
NYU Langone Medical Center / New York University School of Medicine
Source:Eurekalert

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