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Posted by on Aug 2, 2018 in Non-Hodgkin lymphoma | 0 comments

In a nutshell

This study investigated respiratory side effects in patients with non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma (NHL) who received chemotherapy containing rituximab (Rituxan). This study concluded that these side effects are common and associated with increased mortality in these patients.

Some background

Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma patients treated with rituximab-containing chemotherapy are at risk of developing respiratory side effects. These may result from infections that develop after chemotherapy.

40% of elderly patients treated with R-CHOP (rituximab, cyclophosphamide, doxorubicin, vincristine, prednisone) experience these complications. Of these, 10% are severe. The impact of these complications on survival outcomes in NHL patients after R-CHOP chemotherapy remains under investigation.

Methods & findings

This study involved 123 patients with NHL. Patients had diffuse large B-cell lymphoma (45.5%), follicular lymphoma (17.1%), or mantle cell lymphoma (13%). 67.4% of patients had stage 3 – 4 disease. All patients were previously treated with rituximab-containing chemotherapy. The average follow-up period was 825 days.

At follow-up, 24.4% of patients developed at least one respiratory complication. These included a total of 58 cases. Of these, 75.8% were due to infections. These included pneumonia (56.8%) and viral infections (20.7%).

33% of cases required ICU admission. 24% of cases required invasive life support to help with breathing.

Respiratory complications were significantly associated with increased mortality risk (170%). Also, patients who developed complications had significantly more cancer in their lungs at diagnosis (32%) than patients who did not (15%).

The bottom line

This study concluded that respiratory complications were common in patients with non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma after rituximab-containing chemotherapy. They were also associated with increased mortality.

The fine print

This study was retrospective, meaning it looked back in time to analyze patient data.

Published By :

Annals of Hematology

Date :

Jul 21, 2018

Original Title :

Characteristics of pulmonary complications in non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma patients treated with rituximab-containing chemotherapy and impact on survival.

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