Weill Cornell’s Dr. Rebecca Elstrom attended the 11th International Conference on Malignant Lymphoma in Lugano, Switzerland and provides this update:
Maintenance rituximab improves progression free survival in patients with mantle cell lymphoma when given after rituximab in combination with chemotherapy. These results were reported at the 11th International Conference on Malignant Lymphoma this week. Dr. Kluin-Nelemans and colleagues compared R-CHOP chemoimmunotherapy to R-fludarabine/cyclophosphamide as first line treatment of patients over 60 with mantle cell lymphoma, finding R-CHOP to be superior in this group of patients. A second randomization, to rituximab maintenance or interferon, showed that the extended administration of rituximab prolonged the time to lymphoma progression by more than two years on average.
Although maintenance rituximab has been shown to prolong remissions in patients with follicular lymphoma after rituximab plus chemotherapy, this is the first time that rituximab has been shown to have a similar effect in mantle cell lymphoma, a type of lymphoma in which remissions tend to be shorter and more difficult to treat.