Conventional chemotherapy (CHOEP-14) with rituximab or high-dose chemotherapy (MegaCHOEP) with rituximab for young, high-risk patients with aggressive B-cell lymphoma: an open-label, randomised, phase 3 trial (DSHNHL 2002-1).

Abstract

BACKGROUND High-dose therapy (HDT) followed by transplantation of autologous haemopoietic stem cells is frequently done as part of first-line therapy in young patients with high-risk aggressive B-cell lymphoma. We investigated whether HDT with cytotoxic agents identical to those used for conventional therapy followed by autologous stem-cell transplantation (ASCT) improved survival outcome compared with conventional chemotherapy when rituximab was added to both modalities. METHODS We did an open-label, randomised trial comparing conventional chemotherapy (cyclophosphamide, doxorubicin, vincristine, etoposide, prednisone) and rituximab (R-CHOEP-14) with dose-escalated sequential HDT and rituximab (R-MegaCHOEP) followed by repetitive ASCT in high-risk (age-adjusted International Prognostic Index [IPI] 2 or 3) patients aged 18-60 years with aggressive B-cell lymphoma. Eligible patients received radiotherapy for bulky, extranodal disease, or both. Randomisation (1:1) used the Pocock minimisation algorithm; patients were stratified by age-adjusted IPI factors, bulky disease, and centre. The primary endpoint was event-free survival. All analyses were done on the intention-to-treat population. This trial is registered with ClinicalTrials.gov, number NCT00129090. FINDINGS 136 patients were randomly assigned to R-CHOEP-14 and 139 to R-MegaCHOEP. 130 patients in the R-CHOEP-14 group and 132 in the R-MegaCHOEP group were included in the intention-to-treat population. After a median of 42 months (IQR 29-59), 3-year event-free survival was 69·5% (95% CI 61·3-77·7) in the R-CHOEP-14 group and 61·4% (52·8-70·0) in the R-MegaCHOEP group (p=0·14; hazard ratio 1·3, 95% CI 0·9-2·0). All 128 evaluable patients treated with R-MegaCHOEP had grade 4 leucopenia, as did 48 (58·5%) of 82 patients with documented blood counts in the R-CHOEP-14 group. All 128 evaluable patients in the R-MegaCHOEP group had grade 3-4 thrombocytopenia, as did 26 (33·8%) of 77 patients in the R-CHOEP-14 group with documented blood counts. The most important non-haematological grade 3 or 4 adverse event was infection, which occurred in 96 (75·0%) of 128 patients treated with R-MegaCHOEP and in 40 (31·3%) of 128 patients treated with R-CHOEP-14. INTERPRETATION In young patients with high-risk aggressive B-cell lymphoma, R-MegaCHOEP was not superior to conventional R-CHOEP therapy and was associated with significantly more toxic effects. R-CHOEP-14 with or without radiotherapy remains a treatment option for these patients, with encouraging efficacy. FUNDING Deutsche Krebshilfe.

DOI: 10.1016/S1470-2045(12)70481-3
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@article{Schmitz2012ConventionalC, title={Conventional chemotherapy (CHOEP-14) with rituximab or high-dose chemotherapy (MegaCHOEP) with rituximab for young, high-risk patients with aggressive B-cell lymphoma: an open-label, randomised, phase 3 trial (DSHNHL 2002-1).}, author={Norbert Schmitz and Maike Nickelsen and Marita Ziepert and Mathias Haenel and Peter Borchmann and Christian Schmidt and Andreas Viardot and Martin Bentz and Norma Peter and Gerhard Ehninger and Gottfried Doelken and Christian Ruebe and Lorenz Truemper and Andreas Rosenwald and Michael Pfreundschuh and Markus Loeffler and Bertram Glass}, journal={The Lancet. Oncology}, year={2012}, volume={13 12}, pages={1250-9} }