Rituxan Tops Campath in Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia

Combining Fludara (fludarabine), Cytoxan (cyclophosphamide), and Rituxan (rituximab) was safer and produced a higher response than pairing Campath (alemtuzumab) with Fludara and Cytoxan in patients under age 65 with advanced B-cell chronic lymphocytic leukemia receiving their first treatment.

Combining Fludara (fludarabine), Cytoxan (cyclophosphamide), and Rituxan (rituximab) was safer and produced a higher response than pairing Campath (alemtuzumab) with Fludara and Cytoxan in patients under age 65 with advanced B-cell chronic lymphocytic leukemia receiving their first treatment.

An early analysis of this phase 3 study showed 74 percent of patients in the Rituxan arm had their cancer completely disappear, called a complete response, compared with 58 percent in the Campath arm. Evaluation of progression-free survival and overall survival are still to come.

For the 165 patients evaluated for side effects, more toxic effects were observed in patients on Campath compared with Rituxan. The most common side effect was severe neutropenia, affecting 10 patients in the Rituxan arm and 29 patients in the Campath arm. The trial was stopped early because of the high toxicity seen in the Campath arm.