Last year in the UK over 60,000 cancer patients enrolled on clinical trials aimed at improving cancer treatments and making them available to all.
A trial looking at chemotherapy and rituximab for non Hodgkin lymphoma (CORAL)
This trial looked at chemotherapy and rituximab for people with a type of non Hodgkin lymphoma called diffuse large B cell lymphoma. It recruited people whose lymphoma had come back or stopped responding to treatment. This trial was supported by Cancer Research UK.
Doctors usually treat this group of people with chemotherapy followed by high dose chemotherapy and a stem cell transplant.
This trial looked at 2 standard chemotherapy combinations called DHAP and ICE used to treat people with diffuse large B cell lymphoma before having a stem cell transplant. DHAP includes the chemotherapy drugs cisplatin and cytarabine, with the steroid dexamethasone. ICE is ifosfamide, carboplatin and etoposide.
The trial also looked at rituximab after a stem cell transplant to see if it could further reduce the risk of the lymphoma coming back.
The aims of the trial were to find out
- If DHAP and rituximab is better than ICE and rituximab for people with diffuse large B cell lymphoma
- How useful rituximab is for this group of patients after a stem cell transplant
Summary of results
The trial team found no difference between the people who had DHAP and rituximab (DHAP-R) and the people who had ICE and rituximab (R-ICE).
392 people with diffuse large B cell lymphoma had the treatment in this trial. The trial was divided in into 2 parts. In the first part of the trial
- Half had DHAP-R
- Half had R-ICE
The treatment worked for 206 people. They then joined the second part of the trial. And went on to have high dose chemotherapy followed a stem cell transplant. After the transplant
- Half had rituximab for 1 year– doctors call this ‘maintenance treatment’
- Half had no further treatment but had regular checkups with their doctor
The trial team analysed the results of the first part of the trial after monitoring the people in the trial for about 3 years. They compared the people who had DHAP-R with the people who had R-ICE to see how well the 2 different treatments worked. They found no difference between the 2 different groups.
We have based this summary on information from the team who ran the trial. The information they sent us has been reviewed by independent specialists (
How to join a clinical trial
Please note: In order to join a trial you will need to discuss it with your doctor, unless otherwise specified.
Professor D. Linch
Cancer Research UK
Experimental Cancer Medicine Centre (ECMC)
National Institute for Health Research Cancer Research Network (NCRN)
This is Cancer Research UK trial number CRUK/06/006