Rituximab plus cyclophosphamide, doxorubicin, vincristine, and prednisolone in patients with newly diagnosed diffuse large B-cell non-Hodgkin lymphoma: a phase 3 comparison of dose intensification with 14-day versus 21-day cycles.
Summary Background Dose intensification with a combination of cyclophosphamide, doxorubicin, vincristine, and prednisolone (CHOP) every 2 weeks improves outcomes in patients older than 60 years with diffuse large B-cell lymphoma compared with CHOP every 3 weeks. We investigated whether this survival benefit from dose intensification persists in the presence of rituximab (R-CHOP) in all age groups. Findings 1080 patients were assigned to R-CHOP-21 (n=540) and R-CHOP-14 (n=540). With a median follow-up of 46 months (IQR 35–57), 2-year OS was 82·7% (79·5–85·9) in the R-CHOP-14 group and 80·8% (77·5–84·2) in the R-CHOP-21 (standard) group (hazard ratio 0·90, 95% CI 0·70–1·15; p=0·3763). No significant improvement was noted in 2-year progression-free survival (R-CHOP-14 75·4%, 71·8–79·1, and R-CHOP-21 74·8%, 71·0–78·4; 0·94, 0·76–1·17; p=0·5907). High international prognostic index, poor-prognosis molecular characteristics, and cell of origin were not predictive for benefit from either schedule. Grade 3 or 4 neutropenia was higher in the R-CHOP-21 group (318 [60%] of 534 vs 167 [31%] of 534), with no prophylactic use of recombinant human granulocyte-colony stimulating factor mandated in this group, whereas grade 3 or 4 thrombocytopenia was higher with R-CHOP-14 (50 [9%] vs 28 [5%]); other frequent grade 3 or 4 adverse events were febrile neutropenia (58 [11%] vs 28 [5%]) and infection (125 [23%] vs 96 [18%]). Frequencies of non-haematological adverse events were similar in the R-CHOP-21 and R-CHOP-14 groups. Interpretation R-CHOP-14 is not superior to R-CHOP-21 chemotherapy for previously untreated diffuse large B-cell lymphoma; therefore, R-CHOP-21 remains the standard first-line treatment in patients with this haematological malignancy. No molecular or clinical subgroup benefited from dose intensification in this study.
- Cancer Services 
Sherwood Forest Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust