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J Hematol Oncol. 2012 Oct 22;5:67. doi: 10.1186/1756-8722-5-67.

Bortezomib plus rituximab versus rituximab in patients with high-risk, relapsed, rituximab-naïve or rituximab-sensitive follicular lymphoma: subgroup analysis of a randomized phase 3 trial.

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  • 1Institute of Hematology and Medical Oncology 'L, & A, Seràgnoli', University of Bologna, Bologna, Italy. pierluigi.zinzani@unibo.it



The randomized phase 3 LYM3001 trial in relapsed follicular lymphoma (FL) demonstrated higher overall (ORR) and complete response (CR) rates and prolonged progression-free survival (PFS) with bortezomib-rituximab versus rituximab. We report findings in high-risk patients (FL International Prognostic Index [FLIPI] score ≥3, and high tumor burden by modified Groupe d'Etude des Lymphomas Folliculaires [GELF] criteria).


Patients aged ≥18 years with grade 1/2 FL, ≥1 measurable lesion, and documented relapse or progression following prior therapy, rituximab-naïve or rituximab-sensitive, were enrolled at 164 centers in 29 countries across Europe, the Americas, and Asia-Pacific. Patients were randomized (1:1) to five 5-week cycles of bortezomib-rituximab (bortezomib 1.6 mg/m2, days 1, 8, 15, and 22, all cycles; rituximab 375 mg/m2, days 1, 8, 15, and 22, cycle 1, and day 1, cycles 2-5; N=336) or rituximab alone (N=340). Randomization was stratified by FLIPI score, prior rituximab, time since last dose of anti-lymphoma therapy, and geographical region. The primary endpoint of the study was PFS.


103 bortezomib-rituximab and 98 rituximab patients had high-risk FL. The ORR was 59% versus 37% (p=0.002), the CR/CRu rate was 13% versus 6% (p=0.145), and the durable response rate was 45% versus 26% (p=0.008) with bortezomib-rituximab versus rituximab. Median PFS was 9.5 versus 6.7 months (hazard ratio [HR] 0.667, p=0.012) with bortezomib-rituximab versus rituximab; median time to progression was 10.9 versus 6.8 months (HR 0.656, p=0.009); median time to next anti-lymphoma treatment was 14.8 versus 9.1 months (HR 0.762, p=0.103); and the 1-year Overall Survival rate was 83.1% versus 76.6%. Overall, 51% of bortezomib-rituximab and 32% of rituximab patients reported grade ≥3 adverse events, including neutropenia (18%, 6%), anemia (4%, 5%), diarrhea (8%, 0%), thrombocytopenia (5%, 2%), and sensory neuropathy (1%, 0%).


High-risk FL patients treated with bortezomib-rituximab had significantly higher ORR and longer PFS than patients receiving rituximab alone, with greater clinical benefit than in the overall study population; additional toxicity was acceptable and did not affect treatment feasibility.


The phase 3 LYM3001 trial is registered with ClinicalTrials.gov, with the identifier NCT00312845.

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