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In Vivo. 2009 May-Jun;23(3):475-8.

Use of rituximab in combination with conventional chemotherapy for the treatment of non-Hodgkin's lymphoma of the head and neck.

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First Department of Otolaryngology, Hippocration Hospital of Athens, Athens Medical School, Athens, Greece.



Rituximab, an anti-CD20 chimeric monoclonal antibody that specifically depletes mature B cells, is an effective single agent in the treatment of relapsed or refractory indolent lymphomas, and has been shown to improve the survival rate of elderly patients with diffuse large-B-cell lymphoma when used in combination with cyclophosphamide, doxorubicin, vincristine and prednisone (CHOP).


The combined effect of rituximab and CHOP has been comparatively studied against CHOP alone in 18 elderly patients with non-Hodgkin's lymphoma of the head or neck treated in the 1st Department of Otolaryngology at Hippokration Hospital between January 1998 and January 2004.


Response rates were 91% and 100% in patients treated with rituximab plus CHOP and with CHOP alone, respectively. Overall survival and disease-free survival rates were 91% in the rituximab plus CHOP group, compared with 83% and 60%, respectively, in the CHOP alone group (p=0.75 and p=0.24 for the differences between the groups, respectively). The rituximab plus CHOP therapy was generally well tolerated, with few adverse events reported.


The results of this small case series, although not statistically significant, suggest that rituximab in combination with CHOP may represent an effective treatment option for elderly patients with non-Hodgkin's lymphoma of the head and neck.

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