Continued excellent outcomes in previously untreated patients with follicular lymphoma after treatment with CHOP plus rituximab or CHOP plus 131I-Tositumomab: Long-Term follow-up of phase III randomized study SWOG-S0016
Antineoplastic Combined Chemotherapy Protocols
Lymphoma, Large B-Cell, Diffuse
Purpose SWOG S0016 was a phase III randomized study that compared the safety and efficacy of R-CHOP (rituximab plus cyclophosphamide, doxorubicin, vincristine, and prednisone) with CHOP-RIT (CHOP followed by consolidation with iodine-133-tositumomab radioimmunotherapy) for previously untreated patients with follicular lymphoma. Understanding the long-term outcome of patients provides a benchmark for novel treatment regimens for FL. Patients and Methods Between 2001 and 2008, 531 previously untreated patients with FL were randomly assigned to receive either six cycles of R-CHOP or six cycles of CHOP-RIT. Patients with advanced-stage disease (bulky stage II, III, or IV) of any pathologic grade (1, 2, or 3) were eligible. Results After a median follow-up of 10.3 years, 10-year estimates of progression-free and overall survival were 49% and 78% among all patients, respectively. Patients in the CHOP-RIT arm had significantly better 10-year progression-free survival compared with patients in the R-CHOP arm (56% v 42%; P = .01), but 10-year overall survival was not different between the two arms (75% v 81%; P = .13). There was no significant difference between the CHOP-RIT and R-CHOP arms in regard to incidence of second malignancies (15.1% v 16.1%; P = .81) or myelodysplastic syndrome or acute myeloid leukemia (4.9% v 1.8%; P = .058). The estimated 10-year cumulative incidences of death resulting from second malignancies were not different (7.1% v 3.2%; P = .16), but cumulative incidence of death resulting from myelodysplastic syndrome or acute myeloid leukemia was higher in the CHOP-RIT arm compared with the R-CHOP arm (4% v 0.9%; P = .02). Conclusion Given these outstanding outcomes, immunochemotherapy should remain the standard induction approach for patients with high-risk FL until long-term follow-up of alternative approaches demonstrates superiority.