A UK multicentre phase II study of rituximab (chimaeric anti-CD20 monoclonal antibody) in patients with follicular lymphoma, with PCR monitoring of molecular response

James M. Foran, Rajnish K. Gupta, David Cunningham, Razvan A. Popescu, Anthony H. Goldstonk, John W. Sweetenham, Ruth Pettengell, Peter W.M. Johnson, Eric Bessell, Barry Hancock, Karin Summers, Julia Hughes, Ama Z.S. Rohatiner, T. Andrew Lister

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120 Scopus citations

Abstract

Follicular lymphoma (FL) cells express CD20 and are associated in most cases with the t(14;18) chromosomal translocation. A multicentre study was undertaken between January 1997 and January 1998 to assess the complete response rate (CR) and overall response rate (RR) to rituximab, a chimaeric anti-CD20 monoclonal antibody. Seventy patients with previously treated FL received rituximab (375 mg/m2/week x 4, by intravenous infusion). Restaging studies were performed 1 and 2 months after therapy. Molecular monitoring for the presence of cells harbouring the Bcl-2/J(H) gene rearrangement in the peripheral blood (PB) and bone marrow (BM) was performed before and after treatment using a two-step semi-nested polymerase chain reaction (PCR) assay. The overall RR was 32/70 (46%), being highest in patients who had received only one previous treatment (12/15, 80%). However, only two patients achieved a CR. The median duration of response was 11 months. Thirteen of 21 evaluable 'PCR-positive' patients (62%) became 'PCR-negative' in PB and/or BM samples 1 month after rituximab, although this did not correlate with clinical response. Treatment was generally well tolerated, although one patient developed Stevens-Johnson syndrome. Rituximab was shown to be active in FL, and in some cases PB and/or BM became PCR negative. Studies in combination with cytotoxic chemotherapy to increase the CR rate are warranted.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)81-88
Number of pages8
JournalBritish journal of haematology
Volume109
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Jun 20 2000

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Keywords

  • Anti-CD20
  • Follicular lymphoma
  • Molecular remission
  • Rituximab
  • T(14;18)

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Hematology

Cite this

Foran, J. M., Gupta, R. K., Cunningham, D., Popescu, R. A., Goldstonk, A. H., Sweetenham, J. W., Pettengell, R., Johnson, P. W. M., Bessell, E., Hancock, B., Summers, K., Hughes, J., Rohatiner, A. Z. S., & Lister, T. A. (2000). A UK multicentre phase II study of rituximab (chimaeric anti-CD20 monoclonal antibody) in patients with follicular lymphoma, with PCR monitoring of molecular response. British journal of haematology, 109(1), 81-88. https://doi.org/10.1046/j.1365-2141.2000.01965.x