Subcutaneous rituximab in patients with diffuse large B cell lymphoma and follicular lymphoma : Final results of the non‐interventional study MabSCale

Background: Rituximab has become a standard treatment for non-Hodgkin lymphoma. Clinical studies have demonstrated the efficacy of rituximab in combination with standard chemotherapies in the treatment of follicular lymphoma (FL) and diffuse large B cell lymphoma (DLBCL) patients. This non-interventional study aimed to evaluate the effectiveness and safety of subcutaneous (SC) rituximab in routine clinical practice.

Methods: Adult patients with previously untreated CD20 positive DLBCL or FL who received rituximab SC and chemotherapy as first-line treatment were observed between 07/2014 and 07/2019 at 99 institutions in Germany. Primary endpoint was the (unconfirmed) complete remission (CR/CRu) rate. Primary outcome was analyzed inferentially; other variables were evaluated descriptively.

Results: Overall 583 patients (247 FL; 336 DLBCL) were evaluated. CR/CRu rates were 51.4% (95% CI: 45.2; 57.6) in the FL set and 48.5% (95% CI: 43.2; 53.8) in the DLBCL set. Regarding progression-free survival in the FL group, the probability of being event-free was 94.2% in the first year and 86.2% in the second year. An overall response was achieved in 85.8% (FL) and 85.4% patients (DLBCL). Patient satisfaction at the end of study with the time saving simplification of the SC vs. intravenous route was 98% for FL and 97% for DLBCL. 45.3% of FL and 47.0% of DLBCL patients experienced an adverse event of grade ≥3. Serious adverse events of grade ≥3 occurred in 27.9% FL and 32.4% DLBCL patients, with the highest incidences for leucopenia, anemia, nausea, and fatigue. No new safety signals were detected.

Conclusions: The results confirmed the effectiveness and safety of rituximab SC in both the FL and the DLBCL group. Satisfaction of patients and nurses with SC administration was high.

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