Favourable outcomes for high‐risk Burkitt lymphoma patients (IPI 3‐5) treated with rituximab plus CODOX‐M/IVAC: Results of a phase 2 UK NCRI trial
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INTRODUCTION: Outcomes after frontline treatment of Burkitt lymphoma (BL) have improved with the introduction of dose-intense chemotherapy regimens, such as CODOX-M/IVAC. While rituximab has increased survival rates for most forms of high-grade B-cell lymphoma, there has previously been hesitancy about incorporating it into BL treatment, partly due to concerns about increased toxicity. Prospective data using the standard dose CODOX-M/IVAC regimen in combination with rituximab are lacking. We conducted a single-arm phase 2 trial to assess the efficacy and toxicity of R-CODOX-M/R-IVAC. METHODS: Eligible patients were aged 18-65 years, with newly diagnosed BL with MYC rearrangement as the sole cytogenetic abnormality, and high-risk disease, defined by an International Prognostic Index (IPI) score of 3-5. Patients received two cycles of R-CODOX-M chemotherapy alternating with two cycles of R-IVAC, followed by two further cycles of rituximab alone. The primary endpoint was 2-year progression-free survival. RESULTS: Thirty-eight patients were registered but after central pathology review, 27 patients had confirmed BL and commenced study treatment. Median age was 35 years, 14.8% patients had central nervous system involvement and 18.5% were HIV positive. Twenty-two (81.4%) patients completed four cycles of chemotherapy. There were two treatment-related deaths (7.4%). Two-year progression-free and overall survival rates were 77.2% (90% confidence interval [CI]: 56.0-89.0) and 80.7% (90% CI: 59.6-91.5), respectively. CONCLUSIONS: This prospective trial demonstrates excellent survival rates with R-CODOX-M/R-IVAC in a high-risk BL cohort. It provides reassuring evidence regarding the feasibility of this regimen and also provides a benchmark for future studies.
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