Rituximab maintenance therapy dramatically improves survival in lymphoma
Dec 13, 2005 - 3:35:38 PM
Two years of maintenance therapy with MabThera (rituximab) dramatically improves the chances of survival for patients suffering from one of the most frequent forms of lymphoma, indolent non-Hodgkins Lymphoma (NHL). The trial showed that the risk of death is halved for patients who receive MabThera maintenance therapy, compared to those who receive no maintenance treatment, irrespective of their initial therapy. We are conscious that these results open a new era in the management of indolent NHL, said William M. Burns, CEO of the Pharmaceuticals Division at Roche. Maintenance therapy with MabThera showed unprecedented survival benefits in a serious cancer disease which is currently considered incurable.
Professor Marinus van Oers M.D. from the Academic Medical Center of the University of Amsterdam and lead investigator of the pivotal study said: Our trial confirms that MabThera maintenance therapy is highly beneficial for all patients, including those who have already received MabThera as part of their initial therapy. Maintenance therapy with MabThera may well become the new standard of care for these patients.
In the EORTC 20981 (European Organisation for Research and Treatment of Cancer) trial, 465 patients with relapsed and refractory indolent NHL were randomised to receive either 3-weekly cyclophosphamide, doxorubicin, vincristine, and prednisone (CHOP) chemotherapy or MabThera plus CHOP as induction therapy. Responding patients were then again randomised to either MabThera maintenance, or observation (no further treatment).
The primary endpoints were response rates and progression-free survival for the initial treatment phase and the maintenance phase of the study, respectively. The trial was performed in 130 centres in Canada, Australia, Netherlands, UK, Norway, Slovenia, Slovakia, Belgium, Hungary, South Africa, Sweden, New Zealand, Denmark, Egypt, France, Switzerland, Italy and Poland.
The results of the induction phase of the trial showed that patients who received MabThera and CHOP (R-CHOP) had a significantly higher rate of complete remission than patients who received CHOP chemotherapy alone (29% vs 16%, p value <0
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