Issue: 2009 > September > special report

Improved survival for patients with large B-cell lymphoma after introduction of rituximab

E.M. Rodenburg, E. Maartense, E.F.M. Posthuma


Background: To determine whether the reported increase in survival of patients with diffuse large B-cell malignant lymphoma (DLBCL) after the introduction of rituximab is also seen in a non-academic hospital in the Netherlands. A retrospective study. Methods: A dataset was made containing all newly diagnosed patients with DLBCL in a period of 2.5 years before until 2.5 years after introduction of rituximab in the standard treatment. Total follow-up time was 6.5 years with
a minimal follow-up of 18 months. Results: The study population consisted of 65 patients; 32 in the prerituximab group (median follow-up time 60 months) and 33 in the postrituximab group (median follow-up time 29 months). Progression-free survival increased significantly in the postrituximab group (hazard
ratio 0.31; 95% CI 0.12 to 0.78; p=0.013; log rank p=0.008). The overall survival also showed a significant increase (p=0.048). The 18-month progression-free survival increased from 59.4 to 81.8%; the overall survival at 18 months showed an increase from 65.5 to 81.8%. Conclusion: The introduction of rituximab in the treatment of DLB CL with CHOP chemotherapy has resulted in a significantly better prognosis for patients with DLBCL, treated in the Reinier de Graaf Gasthuis in Delft.