Haematologica 2017 Sep 21
Efficacy and safety of subcutaneous and intravenous rituximab plus cyclophosphamide, doxorubicin, vincristine, and prednisone in first-line diffuse large B-cell lymphoma: the randomized MabEase study.   
Intravenous rituximab plus chemotherapy is standard treatment for diffuse large B-cell lymphoma. A subcutaneous formulation of rituximab is expected to simplify and shorten drug preparation and administration, and to reduce treatment burden. MabEase () examined efficacy, safety and patient satisfaction with subcutaneous rituximab plus chemotherapy in treatment-naïve patients with diffuse large B-cell lymphoma. Patients were randomized 2:1 to subcutaneous rituximab (intravenous 375 mg/m cycle 1; subcutaneous 1,400 mg cycles 2-8) or intravenous rituximab (375 mg/m cycles 1-8) plus cyclophosphamide, doxorubicin, vincristine, and prednisone every 14 or 21 days. The primary endpoint was investigator-assessed complete response/unconfirmed complete response. Secondary endpoints included safety, treatment satisfaction (Cancer Treatment Satisfaction Questionnaire and Rituximab Administration Satisfaction Questionnaire), time savings, and survival. Of 576 randomized patients, 572 (378 subcutaneous; 194 intravenous) received treatment. End of induction complete response/unconfirmed complete response rates were 50.6% (subcutaneous) and 42.4% (intravenous). After a median 35 months, median overall, event-free and progression-free survivals were not reached. Grade ≥3 adverse events (subcutaneous 58.3%; intravenous 54.3%) and administration-related adverse events (both groups 21%) were similar between arms. Injection-site reactions were more common with subcutaneous injections (5.7% 0%, respectively). Rituximab Administration Satisfaction Questionnaire scores for 'impact on activities of daily living', 'convenience', and 'satisfaction' were improved with subcutaneous intravenous injections; Cancer Therapy Satisfaction Questionnaire scores were similar between arms. Median administration time (6 minutes 2.6 to 3.0 hours), chair/bed and overall hospital times were shorter with subcutaneous intravenous rituximab. Overall, subcutaneous and intravenous rituximab had similar efficacy and safety, with improved patient satisfaction and time savings.

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