Safety and efficacy of rapid rituximab infusion plus chemotherapy

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“…evaluate the safety and efficacy of rapid rituximab infusion (RRI) plus chemotherapy in patients with CD20+ non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma” Zhao et al (2014).

Reference:

Zhao, W., Gao, Y., Bai, B., Cai, Q.C., Wang, X.X., Cai, Q.Q. and Huang, H.Q. (2014) Safety and efficacy of noninitial rapid infusion of rituximab plus chemotherapy in Chinese patients with CD20+ non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. Expert Opinion on Drug Safety. November 21st. [epub ahead of print].

Abstract:

Objective: To evaluate the safety and efficacy of rapid rituximab infusion (RRI) plus chemotherapy in patients with CD20+ non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma (NHL).

Research design and methods: A total of 177 patients received 4 – 6 cycles of rituximab-based chemotherapy. The first cycle was given with standard schedule. In the second and subsequent cycles, RRI was initiated. Rituximab was administered as 20% of the dose infused in the first 30 min and the remaining 80% was given over 60 min. Benadryl and dexamethasone were given before infusions. Vital signs were measured at baseline and during infusion.

Results: In the first cycle, 48 patients experienced grade I – II infusion reactions and two patients showed grade III – IV infusion reactions. Six patients experienced infusion reactions during RRI. Two patients showed grade III infusion reactions to RRI and dropped out of the study. With a median follow up of 37.5 months, the 3-year overall survival and progression-free survival rates of the whole cohort were 93.1 and 81.1%, respectively.

Conclusions: Our preliminary observations suggested that RRI may be safe and feasible for patients with CD20+ NHL.

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