We conducted a retrospective analysis to evaluate the impact on clinical outcomes of adding rituximab to cyclophosphamide, doxorubicin, vincristine, and prednisone (CHOP) treatment for diffuse large B-cell lymphoma (DLBCL) patients in Japan. A propensity score method was used to compensate for the non-randomized study design. From January 2000 to December 2004, 378 patients who were newly diagnosed with DLBCL at 13 institutes were enrolled: 123 in the rituximab plus CHOP-based chemotherapy (R+) group, and 255 in the CHOP-based chemotherapy only (R-) group. The complete response rate was significantly higher in the R+ group than in the R- group (77.7 vs. 69.4%, P < 0.001). The progression-free survival (PFS) at 2 years was 62.4% in the R+ group and 57.0% in the R- group. The 2-year overall survival (OS) was 76.9% for the R+ group and 70.5% for the R- group. A multivariate analysis revealed that the addition of rituximab was a strong independent prognostic factor for PFS (hazard ratio 0.64, 95% CI 0.43-0.96, P = 0.031). A subgroup analysis revealed that R+ particularly benefited younger patients (hazard ratio 0.25, 95% CI 0.08-0.75, P = 0.013). IPI also showed significant impact for PFS (hazard ratio 1.82, 95% CI 1.55-2.14 for one score increase, P < 0.001) as well as OS (hazard ratio 2.10, 95% CI 1.71-2.57, P < 0.001). In summary, the addition of rituximab to CHOP-based chemotherapy results in better outcomes for Japanese DLBCL patients, particularly younger patients.
- Non-Hodgkin's lymphoma
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