Oral fludarabine is more convenient than intravenous fludarabine in an outpatient setting. To assess the efficacy and toxicity of oral fludarabine in combination with rituximab in patients with relapsed indolent B-cell non-Hodgkin lymphoma (B-NHL), we conducted a multicenter phase II study. Patients with relapsed indolent B-NHL with two or fewer prior regimens and up to 16 doses of rituximab were eligible. Patients received 375 mg/m2 rituximab on day 1, and 40 mg/m2 oral fludarabine once daily on days 1 through 5 every 28 days for up to six cycles. The primary endpoint was the overall response rate. Forty-one patients were enrolled, including 38 (93%) with follicular lymphoma. Thirty-four patients (83%) had received rituximab as prior therapy. Twenty-seven patients (66%) completed the planned six cycles. Dose reduction of oral fludarabine was required in 17 patients (41%). The overall response rate was 76% (31 of 41 patients; 95% confidence interval, 60-88%) with a complete response rate of 68% (28 of 41 patients; 95% confidence interval, 52-82%). Median progression-free survival for the 41 patients was 19.7 months (95% confidence interval, 12.3-26.5 months). Hematological toxicities, including grade 4 neutropenia (68%), were the most frequent toxicities. Non-hematological toxicities were mild, except for one patient who died of Pneumocystis jiroveci pneumonia 4 months after the protocol treatment. In conclusion, oral fludarabine in combination with rituximab is a highly effective and convenient therapy for patients with relapsed indolent B-NHL who have mostly been pretreated with rituximab. (ClinicalTrials.gov number, NCT00311129.) (Cancer Sci 2009; 100: 1951-1956).
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cancer Research