Improved therapeutic outcomes of DLBCL after introduction of rituximab in Korean patients

Y H Park, J J Lee, M H Ryu, S Y Kim, D H Kim, Y R Do, K H Lee, S J Oh, Y K Kim, C W Suh, D S Heo, B Y Ryoo, J K Kim, H S Song, W S Lee, H J Kim, Y J Bang, S H Yang, S K Sohn, Y K Kang et al.
Annals of Hematology 2006, 85 (4): 257-62
The addition of rituximab to cyclophosphamide, doxorubicin, vincristine, and prednisone (CHOP) has been shown to improve the outcome in all age groups with newly diagnosed diffuse large B-cell lymphoma (DLBCL). We conducted a retrospective analysis to evaluate the impact of this combination therapy on DLBCL outcomes in Korea. From October 2001 to June 2004, newly diagnosed DLBCL patients in nine Korean institutes were included. All of these 81 patients were treated with three or more cycles of rituximab plus CHOP (R-CHOP) combination chemotherapy (R group), and followed for a minimum of 12 months. For comparison, a historical cohort of patients was used and analyzed for "Clinicopathologic characteristics of Korean non-Hodgkin's lymphomas (NHLs) based on Revised American Lymphoma (REAL) classification" in 1999. Among the 1,098 NHL patients, the data of 214 DLBCL patients, who were treated with CHOP chemotherapy in first-line, were analyzed (C group). We compared outcomes between the C group and the R group. A total of 295 patients were evaluated (C group, 214; R group, 81). The complete response (CR) rate was higher in R group (73 vs 91%, p=0.001). The 2-year event-free survival (EFS) rate was significantly higher in R group (78 vs 85%, p=0.0194). This survival benefit was maintained in high-risk patients according to the international prognostic index (IPI) (p=0.0039), regardless of age. However, there was no significant difference in low-risk patients. The addition of rituximab to CHOP combination chemotherapy for DLBCLs showed improved outcomes, particularly in high-risk group according to the IPI. Long-term follow-up results will be needed to confirm these results.

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