Rituximab in combination with fludarabine and cyclophosphamide in the treatment of patients with recurrent follicular lymphoma


  • Preliminary and final results presented at the American Society of Hematology Annual Meeting, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, Dates 2002; San Diego, California, Dates 2003; and Orlando, Florida, Dates, 2006.



The current study was conducted to asses the safety profile and clinical activity of rituximab in combination with fludarabine and cyclophosphamide in patients with recurrent follicular lymphoma (FL).


This study was a noncomparative, multicenter, phase II study. Between March 2000 and December 2002, 54 patients with recurrent FL were enrolled in the FC+R trial. Patients received fludarabine at a dose of 25 mg/m2 and cyclophosphamide at a dose of 300 mg/m2 daily for 3 consecutive days, every 3 weeks for 4 cycles. Rituximab was administered at a dose of 375 mg/m2 beginning 2 weeks after the first course of fludarabine and cyclophosphamide and then on Day 1 of each cycle thereafter. The planned treatment duration was 10 weeks.


Overall, 92% of patients completed the planned therapy in 10 to 14 weeks and 74% achieved a complete response (CR). Among patients with BCL2‒positive bone marrow, 86% obtained a molecular disease remission (MR). The median survival from treatment (SFT), the duration of disease remission (DR), and time to disease progression (TTP) had not been reached after a median follow‒up of 45 months. Of the baseline characteristics, >2 previous treatments, BCL2‒positive bone marrow, and low Follicular Lymphoma International Prognostic Index (FLIPI) score were found to be associated with better DR and/or TTP. Hematologic toxicity was transient and reversible, with the exception of 3 patients with severe and prolonged neutropenia. Three patients presented with infections, 1 of whom died of bronchopneumonia.


The FC+R scheme, a nonanthracycline‒containing regimen lasting up to 10 weeks, was found to be relatively well‒tolerated and demonstrated significant antilymphoma activity with excellent clinical CR and molecular response rates. Cancer 2007. © 2007 American Cancer Society.