Rituximab maintenance reduces progression of follicular lymphoma

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Patients with previously untreated follicular lymphoma enjoyed a longer period of progression-free survival when treated with rituximab maintenance therapy, according to a large phase III trial known as PRIMA.


Patients: 1,217 patients from 25 countries
Time: December 2004 - April 2007

75% were treated with R-CHOP as induction therapy. 1,018 patients responded; so they were randomly assigned either to undergo observation (513) or receive rituximab maintenance therapy (505).

PRIMA was a randomized study sponsored by Groupe d'Etudes de Lymphomes de L'Adulte (GELA) which sought to determine "whether rituximab could improve PFS in patients with stage III or IV follicular lymphoma whose disease was reduced or eliminated by rituximab-based combination chemotherapy."


According to Gilles Salles, MD one of the study's authors, “Patients who received rituximab maintenance had a significantly reduced risk of lymphoma progression of 50% … rituximab maintenance after induction with rituximab and chemotherapy significantly improves outcomes for follicular lymphoma patients, and we believe it should therefore be considered as the standard of care in first-line follicular lymphoma.”


These results were presented in a press conference for the upcoming 2010 ASCO Annual Meeting; they have not been published in a peer-reviewed journal yet and until then should be considered preliminary only.

By Ross Bonander

Source: HemOncToday

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