Among elderly patients with diffuse large B-cell lymphoma, treatment with six cycles of Rituxan® (rituximab) and CHOP-14 produces better outcomes than CHOP-14 alone, and may also produce better outcomes than eight cycles of Rituxan and CHOP-14. These results were presented at the 2006 meeting of the American Society of Hematology.

Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma (NHL) is a form of cancer that begins in the cells of the lymph system, which includes the spleen, thymus, tonsils, bone marrow, lymph nodes, and circulating immune cells. Lymphocytes are the main cells in the lymph system and exist in two forms: B and T-cells. Each of these cells serves a specific function in helping the body fight infection. B-cell NHL is the most common type of NHL; it involves cancer that originates in B-cells and affects their normal maturation.

CHOP (cyclophosphamide, doxorubicin, vincristine, and prednisone) is a common treatment used for NHL. More recently, the addition of Rituxan to CHOP, referred to as R-CHOP, has become a standard treatment option for NHL.

Although Rituxan has become an integral part of the treatment of patients with B-cell NHL, the optimal way to incorporate Rituxan into the overall treatment strategy for specific patients with NHL is still being intensely investigated.

To compare different approaches to administering CHOP with or without Rituxan in the treatment of elderly patients with diffuse large B-cell lymphoma, researchers in Germany conducted a study among more than 1,000 patients between the ages of 61 and 80 years.

Study participants were assigned to receive either six or eight cycles of CHOP administered every two weeks (CHOP-14). Half the patients also received Rituxan.

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  • The addition of Rituxan improved outcomes compared to CHOP-14 alone.
  • Patients who received six cycles of Rituxan and CHOP-14 appeared to have the best overall survival.

The researchers concluded that six cycles of Rituxan and CHOP-14 appeared to produce the best outcomes in the treatment of elderly patients with diffuse large B-cell lymphoma.

**Reference:**Pfreundschuh M, Kloess M, Zeynalova S, et al. Six vs. eight cycles of bi-weekly CHOP-14 with or without rituximab for elderly patients with diffuse large B-cell lymphoma (DLBCL): Results of the completed RICOVER-60 trial of the German High-Grade Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma Study Group (DSHNHL).Blood. 2006;108;64a. Abstract 205.

Related News:Rituxan® and CHOP for Elderly Patients with Diffuse Large B-Cell Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma (12/19/2005)

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