Role of maintenance rituximab (rituxan) therapy in the treatment of follicular lymphoma.
ABSTRACT: Although follicular lymphoma remains incurable, recent advances in first-line therapy have resulted in improved response rates and response duration. Maintenance therapy with rituximab (Rituxan) after induction treatment with rituximab alone or chemotherapy in combination with or without rituximab has resulted in further improvement in progression-free survival in both treatment-naive and previously treated patients. Efficacy results from the large phase 3, randomized Primary Rituximab and Maintenance (PRIMA) trial in the first-line setting have dem onstrated significant improvements in progression-free survival, in the rate of patients achieving complete remission, and in the proportion of patients remaining in complete remission using maintenance rituximab.The use of maintenance therapy is also under study in additional hematological malignancies, including diffuse large B-cell lymphoma and chronic lymphocytic leukemia. Clinical investigation is ongoing to address the optimal duration of maintenance therapy and the question of whether re-treatment upon disease progression is as beneficial as maintenance for follicular lymphoma.
Project description:Treatment of follicular lymphoma with rituximab is currently recommended at a dose of 375 mg/m(2). We aimed to provide a rationale for optimal dosing and scheduling of this anti-CD20 antibody based on pharmacokinetics.Clinical efficacy of immunochemotherapy with rituximab, fludarabine and mitoxantrone followed by 2-monthly rituximab maintenance was evaluated in 29 patients with previously untreated follicular lymphoma in a prospective phase II trial (AGMT-NHL9). Pharmacokinetic analysis was assessed in 17 patients.Induction treatment resulted in high clinical response rates (complete remission 66%; ORR 100%). Significantly higher complete remission rates were observed in female patients (86 vs. 47%; Odds Ratio 6.8, 95% CI: 1.12; 41.82; P=0.05). Rituximab pharmacokinetic analysis showed a high variability ranging over almost 1 order of magnitude at maintenance cycle 1 (area under the curve 1,540-12,025 g/L*days). Median area under the curve was lower in men (81%) and in patients with initial bone marrow infiltration (76%). Higher rituximab serum concentrations before next therapy (C(trough)) were associated with female sex (P=0.04) as well as with absence of initial bone marrow infiltration (P=0.001). C(trough) correlated with remission quality (complete vs. partial remission; P=0.005) and progression-free survival (P=0.03). A decline in rituximab C(trough) below 25,000 ng/mL was observed 9.5 to 62 months before clinical relapse (P=0.008).The results of this pilot trial suggest that more differentiated dosing schedules based on gender and bone marrow infiltration should be explored for rituximab therapy for lymphoma. This study was registered in ClinicalTrials.gov (Identifier: NCT01560117).
Project description:PURPOSE:The PRIMA study (ClinicalTrials.gov identifier: NCT00140582) established that 2 years of rituximab maintenance after first-line immunochemotherapy significantly improved progression-free survival (PFS) in patients with follicular lymphoma compared with observation. Here, we report the final PFS and overall survival (OS) results from the PRIMA study after 9 years of follow-up and provide a final overview of safety. METHODS:Patients (> 18 years of age) with previously untreated high-tumor-burden follicular lymphoma were nonrandomly assigned to receive one of three immunochemotherapy induction regimens. Responding patients were randomly assigned (stratified by induction regimen, response to induction treatment, treatment center, and geographic region) 1:1 to receive 2 years of rituximab maintenance (375 mg/m2, once every 8 weeks), starting 8 weeks after the last induction treatment, or observation (no additional treatment). All patients in the extended follow-up provided their written informed consent (data cutoff: December 31, 2016). RESULTS:In total, 1,018 patients completed induction treatment and were randomly assigned to rituximab maintenance (n = 505) or observation (n = 513). Consent for the extended follow-up was provided by 607 patients (59.6%) of 1,018 (rituximab maintenance, n = 309; observation, n = 298). After data cutoff, median PFS was 10.5 years in the rituximab maintenance arm compared with 4.1 years in the observation arm (hazard ratio, 0.61; 95% CI, 0.52 to 0.73; P < .001). No OS difference was seen in patients randomly assigned to rituximab maintenance or observation (hazard ratio, 1.04; 95% CI, 0.77 to 1.40; P = .7948); 10-year OS estimates were approximately 80% in both study arms. No new safety signals were observed. CONCLUSION:Rituximab maintenance after induction immunochemotherapy provides a significant long-term PFS, but not OS, benefit over observation.
Project description:The optimal treatment of early stage follicular Lymphoma is a matter of debate. Radiation therapy has frequently been applied with a curative approach beside watchful waiting. Involved field, extended field and total nodal radiation techniques are used in various protocols, but the optimal radiation field still has to be defined. Follicular lymphoma is characterized by stable expression of the CD20 antigen on the tumour cells surface. The anti CD20 antibody Rituximab (Mabthera®) has shown to be effective in systemic therapy of FL in primary treatment, relapse and maintenance therapy.The MIR (Mabthera® and Involved field Radiation) study is a prospective multicenter trial combining systemic treatment with the anti CD20 antibody Rituximab (Mabthera®) in combination with involved field radiotherapy (30 - 40 Gy). This trial aims at testing the combination's efficacy and safety with an accrual of 85 patients.Primary endpoint of the study is progression free survival. Secondary endpoints are response rate to Rituximab, complete remission rate at week 18, relapse rate, relapse pattern, relapse free survival, overall survival, toxicity and quality of life.The trial evaluates the efficacy of Rituximab to prevent out-filed recurrences in early stage nodal follicular lymphoma and the safety of the combination of Rituximab and involved field radiotherapy. It also might show additional risk factors for a later recurrence (e.g. remission state after Rituximab only).ClinicalTrials (NCT): NCT00509184.
Project description:We investigated rituximab maintenance therapy in patients with diffuse large B-cell lymphoma (n=662) or follicular lymphoma grade 3b (n=21) in first complete remission. Patients were randomized to rituximab maintenance (n=338) or observation (n=345). At a median follow-up of 45 months, the event-free survival rate (the primary endpoint) at 3 years was 80.1% for rituximab maintenance versus 76.5% for observation. This difference was not statistically significant for the intent-to-treat population (likelihood ratio P=0.0670). The hazard ratio by treatment arm was 0.79 (95% confidence interval 0.57-1.08; P=0.1433). The secondary endpoint, progression-free survival was also not met for the whole statistical model (likelihood ratio P=0.3646). Of note, rituximab maintenance was superior to observation when treatment arms only were compared (hazard ratio: 0.62; 95% confidence interval 0.43-0.90; P=0.0120). Overall survival remained unchanged (92.0 versus 90.3%). In subgroup analysis male patients benefited from rituximab maintenance with regards to both event-free survival (84.1% versus 74.4%) (hazard ratio: 0.58; 95% confidence interval 0.36-0.94; P=0.0267) and progression-free survival (89.0% versus 77.6%) (hazard ratio: 0.45; 95% confidence interval 0.25-0.79; P=0.0058). Women had more grade 3/4 adverse events (P=0.0297) and infections (P=0.0341). Men with a low International Prognostic Index treated with rituximab had the best outcome. In summary, rituximab maintenance in first remission after R-CHOP-like treatment did not prolong event-free, progression-free or overall survival of patients with aggressive B-non-Hodgkin lymphoma. The significantly better outcome of men warrants further studies prior to the routine use of rituximab maintenance in men with low International Prognostic Index. This trial is registered under EUDRACT #2005-005187-90 and www.clinicaltrials.gov as #NCT00400478.
Project description:Phase 3 randomized trials have shown that maintenance rituximab (MR) therapy or radioimmunotherapy (RIT) consolidation following frontline therapy can improve progression-free survival for patients with follicular lymphoma (FL), but the cost-effectiveness of these approaches with respect to observation has not been examined using a common modeling framework.To evaluate and compare the economic impact of MR and RIT consolidation versus observation, respectively, following the first-line induction therapy for patients with advanced-stage FL.We developed Markov models to estimate patients' lifetime costs, quality-adjusted life-years (QALYs), and life-years (LYs) after MR, RIT, and observation following frontline FL treatment from the US payer's perspective. Progression risks, adverse event probabilities, costs, and utilities were estimated from clinical data of Primary RItuximab and MAintenance (PRIMA) trial, Eastern Cooperative Oncology Group (ECOG) trial (for MR), and First-line Indolent Trial (for RIT) and the published literature. We evaluated the incremental cost-effectiveness ratio for direct comparisons between MR/RIT and observation. Model robustness was addressed by one-way and probabilistic sensitivity analyses.Compared with observation, MR provided an additional 1.089 QALYs (1.099 LYs) and 1.399 QALYs (1.391 LYs) on the basis of the PRIMA trial and the ECOG trial, respectively, and RIT provided an additional 1.026 QALYs (1.034 LYs). The incremental cost per QALY gained was $40,335 (PRIMA) or $37,412 (ECOG) for MR and $40,851 for RIT. MR and RIT had comparable incremental QALYs before first progression, whereas RIT had higher incremental costs of adverse events due to higher incidences of cytopenias.MR and RIT following frontline FL therapy demonstrated favorable and similar cost-effectiveness profiles. The model results should be interpreted within the specific clinical settings of each trial. Selection of MR, RIT, or observation should be based on patient characteristics and expected trade-offs for these alternatives.
Project description:We investigated the biological features of FL and their relationship to patients’ outcome. Gene expression analysis was carried out on diagnosis biopsies from 148 follicular lymphoma patients enrolled in the PRIMA clinical trial. We developed a gene expression-based predictor of progression-free survival (PFS) in high-tumour burden FL patients and we analysed gene-expression signatures reflecting different aspects of tumour biology for their association with outcome. proposition SH: We investigated the biological features of FL and their relationship to patients’ outcome. Gene expression analysis was carried out on diagnosis biopsies from 148 follicular lymphoma patients enrolled in the PRIMA clinical trial. We developed a gene expression-based predictor of progression-free survival (PFS) in high-tumour burden FL patients and we analysed gene-expression signatures reflecting different aspects of tumour biology for their association with outcome. Overall design: Fresh-frozen tissue tumour biopsies were prospectively obtained from untreated FL patients participating in the international phase 3 PRIMA trial that evaluated rituximab maintenance after chemotherapy and rituximab induction (NCT00140582). Gene-expression profiling was performed using Affymetrix U133 Plus 2.0 micro-array. These data were used to identify a gene expression signature predicting early relapse in a supervised analysis. An unsupervised analysis was performed to identify the main components of transcriptional heterogeneity among follicular lymphoma tumours.
Project description:CD20 has proven to be an excellent target for the treatment of B-cell lymphoma, first for the chimeric monoclonal antibody rituximab (Rituxan), and more recently for the radiolabelled antibodies Y-90 ibritumomab tiuxetan (Zevalin) and I-131 tositumomab (Bexxar). Radiation therapy effects are due to beta emissions with path lengths of 1-5 mm; gamma radiation emitted by I-131 is the only radiation safety issue for either product. Dose-limiting toxicity for both radiolabelled antibodies is reversible bone marrow suppression. They produce response rates of 70%-90% in low-grade and follicular lymphoma and 40%-50% in transformed low-grade or intermediate-grade lymphomas. Both products produce higher response rates than related unlabelled antibodies, and both are highly active in patients who are relatively resistant to rituximab-based therapy. Median duration of response to a single course of treatment is about 1 year with complete remission rates that last 2 years or longer in about 25% of patients. Clinical trials suggest that anti- CD20 radioimmunotherapy is superior to total body irradiation in patients undergoing stem cell supported therapy for B-cell lymphoma, and that it is a safe and efficacious modality when used as consolidation therapy following chemotherapy. Among cytotoxic treatment options, current evidence suggests that one course of anti-CD20 radioimmunotherapy is as efficacious as six to eight cycles of combination chemotherapy. A major question that persists is how effective these agents are in the setting of rituximab- refractory lymphoma. These products have been underutilised because of the complexity of treatment coordination and concerns regarding reimbursement.
Project description:Lymphomas constitute the second most common indication for high dose therapy (HDT) followed by autologous hematopoietic cell transplantation (auto-HCT). The intent of administering HDT in these heterogeneous disorders varies from cure (e.g., in relapsed aggressive lymphomas) to disease control (e.g., most indolent lymphomas). Regardless of the underlying histology or remission status at transplantation, disease relapse remains the number one cause of post auto-HCT therapy failure and mortality. The last decade has seen a proliferation of clinical studies looking at prevention of post auto-HCT therapy failure with various maintenance strategies. The benefit of such therapies is in turn dependent on disease histology and timing of transplantation. In relapsed, chemosensitive diffuse large B-cell lymphoma (DLBCL), although post auto-HCT maintenance rituximab seems to be safe and feasible, it does not provide improved survival outcomes and is not recommended. The preliminary results with anti- programmed death -1 (PD-1) antibody therapy as post auto-HCT maintenance in DLBCL is promising but requires randomized validation. Similarly in follicular lymphoma, maintenance therapies including rituximab following auto-HCT should be considered investigational and offered only on a clinical trial. Rituximab maintenance results in improved progression-free survival but has not yet shown to improve overall survival in mantle cell lymphoma (MCL), but given the poor prognosis with post auto-HCT failure in MCL, maintenance rituximab can be considered on a case-by-case basis. Ongoing trials evaluating the efficacy of post auto-HCT maintenance with novel compounds (e.g., immunomodulators, PD-1 inhibitors, proteasome inhibitors and bruton's tyrosine kinase inhibitors) will likely change the practice landscape in the near future for B cell non-Hodgkin lymphomas patients following HDT and auto-HCT.
Project description:BACKGROUND:Consensus is lacking regarding the optimal salvage therapy for patients with follicular lymphoma who relapse after or are refractory to immunochemotherapy. METHODS:This phase II trial evaluated the efficacy and safety of response-adapted therapy with rituximab, bendamustine, mitoxantrone, and dexamethasone (RBMD) in follicular lymphoma patients who relapsed after or were refractory to first-line immunochemotherapy. Sixty patients received three treatment cycles, and depending on their response received an additional one (complete/unconfirmed complete response) or three (partial response) cycles. Patients who responded to induction received rituximab maintenance therapy for 2 years. RESULTS:Thirty-three (55%) and 42 (70%) patients achieved complete/unconfirmed complete response after three cycles and on completing induction therapy (4-6 cycles), respectively (final overall response rate, 88.3%). Median progression-free survival was 56.4 months (median follow-up, 28.3 months; 95% CI, 15.6-51.2). Overall survival was not reached. Progression-free survival did not differ between patients who received four vs six cycles (P = .6665), nor between patients who did/did not receive rituximab maintenance after first-line therapy (P = .5790). Median progression-free survival in the 10 refractory patients was 25.5 months (95% CI, 0.6-N/A) and was longer in patients who had shown progression of disease after 24 months of first-line therapy (median, 56.4 months; 95% CI, 19.8-56.4) than in those who showed early progression (median, 42.31 months; 95% CI, 24.41-NA) (P = .4258). Thirty-six (60%) patients had grade 3/4 neutropenia. Grade 3/4 febrile neutropenia and infection were recorded during induction (4/60 [6.7%] and 5/60 [8.3%] patients, respectively) and maintenance (2/43 [4.5%] and 4/43 [9.1%] patients, respectively). CONCLUSIONS:This response-adapted treatment with RBMD followed by rituximab maintenance is an effective and well-tolerated salvage treatment for relapsed/refractory follicular lymphoma following first-line immunochemotherapy. CLINICAL TRIAL REGISTRATION:ClinicalTrials.gov # NCT01133158.
Project description:Standard of care for patients with symptomatic, advanced-stage follicular lymphoma (FL) is rituximab-containing chemoimmunotherapy followed by rituximab maintenance. This prospective, multicenter, noninterventional study analyzed how efficacy and safety data from randomized controlled trials translate into clinical practice in Germany. Both treatment-naïve and relapsed/refractory patients with FL, who responded to rituximab-containing induction and were scheduled for rituximab maintenance, were observed for 24 months. Effectiveness was measured by response and Kaplan-Meier survival analysis. In addition, treatment patterns of induction and maintenance, as well as adverse events, were documented. The evaluable study population consisted of 310 first-line patients and 173 relapsed/refractory patients, including 116 patients with initial Ann-Arbor stage I/II and 20 patients with FL grade 3B. Regarding first-line induction, a shift from R-CHOP (rituximab, cyclophosphamide, doxorubicin, vincristine, prednisone) to R-bendamustine was observed over time, as well as a decline in radiotherapy. 2-year progression-free survival rates were 88.3% (95% confidence interval [CI] 84.0-92.6) for first-line patients and 76.0% (95% CI: 68.8-83.3) for relapsed/refractory patients. Conversion from partial to complete remission (PR, CR) occurred in 53.4% of analyzed first-line patients with PR, resulting in 69.4% CRs at study end (relapsed/refractory: conversion in 42.9%, final CRs 57.9%). Safety results were consistent with the known safety profile of rituximab in this setting. Both treatment-naïve and relapsed/refractory patients with FL show favorable 2-year PFS rates and improvements in the remission status with postinduction rituximab monotherapy as maintenance and consolidation therapy.