Peri-Transplant Rituximab in Lymphoma Can Lead to Durable Event-Free Survival

Non-myeloablative transplantation incorporating peri-transplant-rituximab can lead to a two-year event-free survival (EFS) of 72%, according to results of a prospective trial of 51 patients with CD20+ B-cell non-Hodgkin lymphoma (B-NHL). Patients were a median age of 54 years (range, 33-67) and received rituximab 375 mg/m2 on day -8 and in four weekly doses beginning day +21. Cumulative incidence of grade II-IV acute GVHD at six months was 25%, and grade III-IV GVHD was 11%. Two-year EFS was significantly higher in chemosensitive patients compared to chemorefractory patients pre-transplant: 84% vs. 30%, respectively (p<0.001). The authors concluded that early referral for non-myeloablative transplantation should be considered in poor-risk B-NHL patients while chemosensitivity is preserved.

Sauter CS, et al. Biol Blood Marrow Transplant