From the Journals

Choosing the right R-CHOP dosage for elderly patients with DLBCL



Physicians often face the choice 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 prednisolone + rituximab), according to Edward J. Bataillard of the Imperial College Healthcare National Health Service Trust, London, and colleagues.

To address this issue, the researchers 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. They found that greater than 80 years of age is an important cutoff for treating patients with a reduced R-CHOP dosage, according to their results, published in Blood Advances (2021;5[9]:2426-37).

Cutoff at 80 years of age

Their final review comprised 13 studies including 5,188 patients. Overall, the lower DI (intended or relative) was associated with inferior survival in seven of nine studies reporting crude survival analyses. In addition, most studies and those larger studies of higher quality showed poorer outcomes associated with reduced R-CHOP DI.

However, in subgroups of patients aged 80 years or more, survival was not consistently affected by the use of lower dosage R-CHOP, according to the researchers.

“We found evidence of improved survival with higher RDIs (up to R-CHOP-21) in those aged < 80 years, but the literature to date does not support full-dose intensity in those 80 years [or older],” they stated.

However, the researchers concluded that: “In the absence of improved options beyond R-CHOP in DLBCL over the past 20 years, prospective studies of DI are warranted, despite the recognized challenges involved.”

Two of the authors reported being previously employed by Roche. A third served as a consultant and adviser and received honoraria from Roche and other pharmaceutical companies. Several authors reported disclosures related to multiple other pharmaceutical companies.

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