Research Papers:

Phase II study of rituximab given in conjunction with standard chemotherapy in primary central nervous system lymphoma (PCNSL): a trial of the ECOG-ACRIN cancer research group (E1F05)

Lode J. Swinnen _, Anne O'Neill, Philip H. Imus, Sachin Gujar, David Schiff, Lawrence R. Kleinberg, Ranjana H. Advani, Erin M. Dunbar, Dennis Moore and Stuart A. Grossman

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Oncotarget. 2018; 9:766-773. https://doi.org/10.18632/oncotarget.22332

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Lode J. Swinnen1, Anne O’Neill2, Philip H. Imus1, Sachin Gujar1, David Schiff3, Lawrence R. Kleinberg1, Ranjana H. Advani4, Erin M. Dunbar5, Dennis Moore6 and Stuart A. Grossman1

1Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, Maryland, USA

2Dana Farber Cancer Institute, Boston, Massachusetts, USA

3University of Virginia, Charlottesville, Virginia, USA

4Stanford Cancer Institute, Stanford, California, USA

5University of Florida, Gainesville, Florida, USA

6Wichita NCORP, Wichita, Kansas, USA

Correspondence to:

Lode J. Swinnen, email: [email protected]

Keywords: primary CNS lymphoma; rituximab; high-dose methotrexate; blood-brain barrier; PCNSL

Received: August 25, 2017    Accepted: September 16, 2017    Published: November 06, 2017


Background: Therapy of primary CNS lymphoma (PCNSL) has focused on multi-agent chemotherapy designed to cross the blood brain barrier. Rituximab has demonstrated activity in PCNSL. E1F05 is an ECOG-ACRIN multicenter phase 2 prospective trial of rituximab with high-dose methotrexate (HD-MTX)-based chemotherapy similar to the RTOG 93-10 regimen, omitting radiotherapy.

Methods: Immunocompetent patients with newly diagnosed PCNSL received HD-MTX 3.5g/m2 with vincristine every two weeks for 5 doses; procarbazine for 7 days in weeks 1, 5, and 9; cytarabine 3g/m2/day IV for 2 days in weeks 11 and 14; a dexamethasone taper over 6 weeks; and rituximab 375mg/m2 IV infusion 3 times per week for weeks 1-4. Subjects with CSF involvement received intrathecal methotrexate 12mg every two weeks.

Results: Twenty-six patients were enrolled; median age was 57. Sixteen subjects (65%) completed treatment per protocol; the most common reason for discontinuation was adverse events, and 2 subjects discontinued due to progressive disease (PD). Complete response (CR) + unconfirmed CR (CRu) was 16/25 (64%), overall response rate was 20/25 (80%), and 4/25(16%) had PD as best response. Median progression free survival (PFS) was 34 months, and median overall survival has not been reached at 40 months’ median follow up. Two year PFS was 63%. The most common grade 3-4 toxicities were hematologic.

Conclusion: The addition of rituximab to multi-agent chemotherapy is well tolerated. Outcomes are comparable to or better than those seen in RTOG 93-10, which included RT. These and other results suggest rituximab has activity in the CNS. [ECOG-ACRIN E1F05]

Clinical Trial Registration: NCT00335140, clinicaltrials.gov

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