Chlorambucil plus Rituximab Good in MALT Lymphoma

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In the largest randomized study to date in MALT lymphoma, new research has determined that chlorambucil plus rituximab works better than either drug alone.

Reporting at the annual International Conference on Malignant Lymphoma in Lugano, Switzerland, Dr. Emanuele Zucca of the Oncology Institute of Southern Switzerland, Ospedale San Giovanni, Bellinzona presented findings from the International Extranodal Lymphoma Study Group study (IELSG-19), a phase III study involving 393 patients randomized into one of three arms:

Combination therapy
Five-year event-free survival: 70 percent
Rituximab monotherapy
Five-year event-free survival: 51 percent
Chlorambucil Monotherapy
Five-year event-free survival: 52 percent

Overall survival at five years was largely the same for all three groups, coming in at about 90 percent.

Among the participants, the primary lymphoma site was the stomach (43 percent), and lymph node involvement was found in 34 percent.

These findings are among the first to demonstrate the activity and efficacy of chlorambucil against MALT lymphoma with and without rituximab, and they support the notion that the combo can help improve outcomes in MALT lymphoma patients.

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