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.
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
Jul 21, 2018
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