Rituximab plus intravenous bolus chemotherapy is a standard treatment for immunocompetent patients with B-cell non-Hodgkin lymphoma (NHL). Some studies have suggested that rituximab is associated with excessive toxicity in HIV-associated NHL, and that infusional chemotherapy may be more effective. We performed a randomized phase 2 trial of rituximab (375 mg/m2) given either concurrently before each infusional etoposide, vincristine, doxorubicin, cyclophosphamide, and prednisone (EPOCH) chemotherapy cycle or sequentially (weekly for 6 weeks) after completion of all chemotherapy in HIV-associated NHL. EPOCH consisted of a 96-hour intravenous infusion of etoposide, doxorubicin, and vincristine plus oral prednisone followed by intravenous bolus cyclophosphamide given every 21 days for 4 to 6 cycles. In the concurrent arm, 35 of 48 evaluable patients (73%; 95% confidence interval, 58%-85%) had a complete response. In the sequential arm, 29 of 53 evaluable patients (55%; 95% confidence interval, 41%-68%) had a complete response. The primary efficacy endpoint was met for the concurrent arm only. Toxicity was comparable in the 2 arms, although patients with a baseline CD4 count less than 50/μL had a high infectious death rate in the concurrent arm.We conclude that concurrent rituximab plus infusional EPOCH is an effective regimen for HIV-associated lymphoma. This study is registered at http://clinicaltrials.gov as NCT00049036.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cell Biology