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J Clin Oncol. 2005 Mar 20;23(9):1984-92. Epub 2005 Jan 24.

Immunochemotherapy with rituximab and cyclophosphamide, doxorubicin, vincristine, and prednisone significantly improves response and time to treatment failure, but not long-term outcome in patients with previously untreated mantle cell lymphoma: results of a prospective randomized trial of the German Low Grade Lymphoma Study Group (GLSG).

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  • 1Department of Internal Medicine III of the Ludwig-Maximilians University, Marchioninistrasse 15, 81377 Munich, Germany.



Mantle cell lymphoma (MCL) is characterized by a poor prognosis with a low to moderate sensitivity to chemotherapy and a median survival of only 3 to 4 years. In an attempt to improve outcome, the German Low Grade Lymphoma Study Group (GLSG) initiated a randomized trial comparing the combination of cyclophosphamide, doxorubicin, vincristine, and prednisone (CHOP) and rituximab (R-CHOP) with CHOP alone as first-line therapy for advanced-stage MCL.


One hundred twenty-two previously untreated patients with advanced-stage MCL were randomly assigned to six cycles of CHOP (n = 60) or R-CHOP (n = 62). Patients up to 65 years of age achieving a partial or complete remission underwent a second randomization to either myeloablative radiochemotherapy followed by autologous stem-cell transplantation or interferon alfa maintenance (IFNalpha). All patients older than 65 years received IFNalpha maintenance.


R-CHOP was significantly superior to CHOP in terms of overall response rate (94% v 75%; P = .0054), complete remission rate (34% v 7%; P = .00024), and time to treatment failure (TTF; median, 21 v 14 months; P = .0131). No differences were observed for progression-free survival. Toxicity was acceptable, with no major differences between the two therapeutic groups.


The combined immunochemotherapy with R-CHOP resulted in a significantly higher response rate and a prolongation of the TTF as compared with chemotherapy alone. Hence, R-CHOP may serve as a new baseline regimen for advanced stage MCL, but needs to be further improved by novel strategies in remission.

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