JOURNAL ARTICLE
MULTICENTER STUDY
RANDOMIZED CONTROLLED TRIAL

CHOP-like chemotherapy with or without rituximab in young patients with good-prognosis diffuse large-B-cell lymphoma: 6-year results of an open-label randomised study of the MabThera International Trial (MInT) Group

Michael Pfreundschuh, Evelyn Kuhnt, Lorenz Trümper, Anders Osterborg, Marek Trneny, Lois Shepherd, Devinder S Gill, Jan Walewski, Ruth Pettengell, Ulrich Jaeger, Pier-Luigi Zinzani, Ofer Shpilberg, Stein Kvaloy, Peter de Nully Brown, Rolf Stahel, Noel Milpied, Armando López-Guillermo, Viola Poeschel, Sandra Grass, Markus Loeffler, Niels Murawski
Lancet Oncology 2011, 12 (11): 1013-22
21940214

BACKGROUND: The MInT study was the first to show improved 3-year outcomes with the addition of rituximab to a CHOP (cyclophosphamide, doxorubicin, vincristine, and prednisone)-like regimen in young patients with good-prognosis diffuse large-B-cell lymphoma. Extended follow-up was needed to establish long-term effects.

METHODS: In the randomised open-label MInT study, patients from 18 countries (aged 18-60 years with none or one risk factor according to the age-adjusted International Prognostic Index [IPI], stage II-IV disease or stage I disease with bulk) were randomly assigned to receive six cycles of a CHOP-like chemotherapy with or without rituximab. Bulky and extranodal sites received additional radiotherapy. Randomisation was done centrally with a computer-based tool and was stratified by centre, bulky disease, age-adjusted IPI, and chemotherapy regimen by use of a modified minimisation algorithm that incorporated a stochastic component. Patients and investigators were not masked to treatment allocation. The primary endpoint was event-free survival. Analyses were by intention to treat. This observational study is a follow-up of the MInT trial, which was stopped in 2003, and is registered at ClinicalTrials.gov, number NCT00400907.

FINDINGS: The intention-to-treat population included 410 patients assigned to chemotherapy alone and 413 assigned to chemotherapy plus rituximab. After a median follow-up of 72 months (range 0·03-119), 6-year event-free survival was 55·8% (95% CI 50·4-60·9; 166 events) for patients assigned to chemotherapy alone and 74·3% (69·3-78·6; 98 events) for those assigned to chemotherapy plus rituximab (difference between groups 18·5%, 11·5-25·4, log-rank p<0·0001). Multivariable analyses showed that event-free survival was affected by treatment group, presence of bulky disease, and age-adjusted IPI and that overall survival was affected by treatment group and presence of bulky disease only. After chemotherapy and rituximab, a favourable subgroup (IPI=0, no bulk) could be defined from a less favourable subgroup (IPI=1 or bulk, or both; event-free survival 84·3% [95% CI 74·2-90·7] vs 71·0% [65·1-76·1], log-rank p=0·005). 18 (4·4%, 95% CI 2·6-6·9) second malignancies occurred in the chemotherapy-alone group and 16 (3·9%, 2·2-6·2) in the chemotherapy and rituximab group (Fisher's exact p=0·730).

INTERPRETATION: Rituximab added to six cycles of CHOP-like chemotherapy improved long-term outcomes for young patients with good-prognosis diffuse large-B-cell lymphoma. The definition of two prognostic subgroups allows a more refined therapeutic approach to these patients than does assessment by IPI alone.

FUNDING: Hoffmann-La Roche.

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