The dilemma of whether to treat elderly patients with diffuse large B-cell lymphoma (DLBCL) with a full or reduced dose intensity (DI) of R-CHOP (cyclophosphamide, doxorubicin, vincristine, and prednisolone1rituximab) is often faced by clinicians. We conducted a systematic review assessing the impact of R-CHOP DI on DLBCL survival outcomes, according to Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses for Protocols (PRISMA-P) guidelines. We searched MEDLINE, EMBASE, and Cochrane CENTRAL for studies with ≥100 patients treated with R-CHOP/R-CHOP-like therapies published from January 2002 through November 2020. Studies were included if they reported the impact of R-CHOP DI on survival outcomes. We screened records, extracted data, and reviewed all the studies for quality and statistical appraisal. Of 380 screened records, 13 studies including 5188 patients were reviewed. DI was often calculated as the ratio of the cumulative delivered dose of prespecified drug(s) to the cumulative planned dose multiplied by a timecorrection factor. Lower DI (intended or relative) was associated with inferior survival in 7 of 9 studies reporting crude survival analyses. Multivariable analysis using DI as a covariate was performed in 10 studies. Six showed an association (P <.05) with adjustment for other covariates, and 4 did not. Most studies and those larger studies of higher quality showed poorer outcomes associated with reduced DI. In subgroups aged ≥80 years, survival was not consistently affected by reduced DI. DI-specific randomized trials are warranted, but these data support full-dose R-CHOP in elderly and fit patients aged ,80 years with DLBCL, but not in those aged ≥80 years, where dose-reduced R-CHOP does not appear to compromise survival.
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