No benefits from extra doses of rituximab in aggressive B-cell lymphoma

A recent clinical trial found that giving two additional doses of rituximab to people with aggressive B-cell lymphoma who responded to six cycles of R-CHOP did not improve outcomes.

Text that says Results

A trial carried out in Germany has this month reported an analysis of results in people with high-grade B-cell non-Hodgkin lymphomas who responded well to treatment.

The PETAL trial looked at whether the results of a PET scan after two cycles of R-CHOP (rituximab plus CHOP chemotherapy) could be used to work out what further treatment was necessary for people with high-grade B-cell non-Hodgkin lymphomas.

People who had a positive PET scan after two cycles of treatment (people who did not respond quickly to initial treatment) went on to receive a further six cycles of R-CHOP or six cycles of more intensive chemotherapy. The results of this part of the study were reported last year. They showed that switching to a more intensive chemotherapy regimen did not improve outcomes but did cause more side effects.

People who had a negative PET scan after two cycles of treatment (people who responded quickly to treatment) either had four more cycles of R-CHOP or four more cycles of R-CHOP followed by two extra doses of rituximab.

The results of this part of the study were published this month. They showed that people with a negative PET scan after two cycles of treatment had good long-term outcomes. Having two additional doses of rituximab did not improve outcomes any further.

Results like this are important because they help make sure that people are not exposed to unnecessary treatment or side effects.

Find out more about how clinical trials are used to work out the best treatments for different types lymphoma with our Lymphoma TrialsLink service.

2 May 2019