In a nutshell
This study examined the effectiveness of rituximab maintenance treatment for patients with diffuse large B-cell lymphoma (DLBCL). The review concluded that rituximab maintenance treatment increases progression-free survival in patients with DLBCL.
Diffuse large B-cell lymphoma (DLBCL) is a common type of non-Hodgkin lymphoma (NHL). The introduction of rituximab treatment has significantly improved patient outcomes. Recently, rituximab has been used as a maintenance treatment (treatment to maintain remission). Rituximab maintenance treatment has improved outcomes for patients with other types of NHL.
Some studies suggest that rituximab maintenance treatment has no effect on survival for patients with DLBCL. More research is needed to determine if rituximab maintenance treatment positively impacts DLBCL patients.
Methods & findings
This review analyzed 5 previous studies, including 1740 patients.
Overall survival (time from treatment to death from any cause) was available in four studies. 735 patients received rituximab. 686 patients were observed only. There was no significant difference in overall survival between patients in the rituximab group and the observation group.
Progression-free survival (time from treatment to disease progression) was available in three studies. 1319 patients were included. Patients receiving rituximab had significantly improved progression-free survival compared to patients in the observation group.
Men tended to have better overall survival rates when receiving rituximab compared to women.
The bottom line
The authors concluded that rituximab maintenance treatment increases progression-free survival in patients with DLBCL.
The fine print
Using rituximab maintenance treatment also leads to more adverse events, or negative side effects, compared to receiving no further maintenance treatment. The risk of side effects should be compared to the potential benefits.
Published By :
Sep 05, 2017
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