CLINICAL TRIAL, PHASE II
CLINICAL TRIAL, PHASE III
COMPARATIVE STUDY
JOURNAL ARTICLE
MULTICENTER STUDY
RANDOMIZED CONTROLLED TRIAL
RESEARCH SUPPORT, NON-U.S. GOV'T
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Phase II/III study of R-CHOP-21 versus R-CHOP-14 for untreated indolent B-cell non-Hodgkin's lymphoma: JCOG 0203 trial.

PURPOSE: Rituximab with cyclophosphamide, doxorubicin, vincristine, and prednisone (R-CHOP) is one of the most effective front-line therapies to treat indolent B-cell lymphoma. Granulocyte colony-stimulating factor (G-CSF), which potentiates antibody-dependent rituximab cytotoxicity, is used to shorten CHOP intervals. To improve progression-free survival (PFS) in patients treated with R-CHOP as the primary end point, we conducted a phase III study.

PATIENTS AND METHODS: Patients with untreated stages III to IV indolent B-cell lymphoma were randomly assigned to six cycles of R-CHOP every 3 weeks (R-CHOP-21) or every 2 weeks (R-CHOP-14) with G-CSF. Maintenance rituximab was not allowed.

RESULTS: Three hundred patients were enrolled. At the median follow-up time of 5.2 years, there was no significant difference in PFS between arms for the 299 eligible patients; the median was 3.7 (R-CHOP-21) v 4.7 (R-CHOP-14) years, 57% v 58% at 3 years, and 41% v 43% at 6 years, respectively (hazard ratio [HR], 0.92; 95% CI, 0.68 to 1.25; one-sided P = .30). The median overall survival (OS) time was not reached in either arm, and there was no significant difference (6-year OS: 87% [R-CHOP-21] v 88% [R-CHOP-14]; HR, 1.15; 95% CI, 0.57 to 2.30; one-sided P = .65). Although grade 4 neutropenia and grade 3 infections were more frequent in the R-CHOP-21 group, R-CHOP was feasible in both arms.

CONCLUSION: The R-CHOP dose-dense strategy failed to improve PFS of patients with untreated indolent B-cell lymphoma. Further improvement of first-line treatment or investigations on postremission therapy following R-CHOP should be explored.

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