More frequent dose of Rituxan fails to show benefit

The standard schedule of giving Rituxan every three weeks, as opposed to every two weeks, is still the best option for older patients with diffuse large B-cell lymphoma, according to research presented today at ASH's annual meeting.Early analysis of a phase 3 French study found that giving eight cycles of Rituxan plus CHOP chemotherapy every 14 days, compared with the standard of every 21 days, resulted in no clinical benefit for patients. Plus, the more frequent schedule caused more blood-related side effects, requiring more red blood cell and platelet transfusions and a higher number of hospitalizations.The final analysis of data should be available in 2010, researchers said, but currently, the two-year overall survival stands at 67 percent for patients treated every 14 days compared with 70 percent for patients treated every 21 days.