Addition of Rituximab to Chemo Provides Survival Benefit in Acute Leukemia

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The addition of rituximab to chemotherapy may benefit patients being treated for acute lymphoblastic leukemia.
The addition of rituximab to chemotherapy may benefit patients being treated for acute lymphoblastic leukemia.

The addition of rituximab to chemotherapy may benefit patients being treated for CD20-positive, Philadelphia chromosome (Ph)-negative acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL), according to a study published in The New England Journal of Medicine.1

In a randomized trial, researchers examined 209 patients with CD20-positive, Ph-negative ALL: 104 in a control group who received chemotherapy without rituximab, and 105 patients who received rituximab with chemotherapy during all treatment phases, totaling 16 to 18 infusions.

With a median follow-up of 30 months, estimated 2-year event-free survival rates were 65% in the group treated with rituximab, in contrast with 52% in the control group. Rituximab treatment was associated with longer event-free survival.

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While there was no significant difference in the overall incidence rate of severe adverse events between the 2 groups, fewer allergic reactions to asparaginase were observed in the group treated with rituximab.

Reference

  1. Maury S, Chevret S, Thomas X, et al. Rituximab in B-lineage adult acute lymphoblastic leukemia. N Eng J Med. 2016;375:1044-1053 doi: 10.1056/NEJMoa1605085

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