Around 1 in 5 people diagnosed with cancer in the UK take part in a clinical trial.
A trial looking at CVP with or without rituximab for advanced follicular lymphoma
Follicular lymphoma is the most common type of non Hodgkin lymphoma (NHL). Doctors often treat advanced follicular lymphoma with CVP. CVP is cyclophosphamide, vincristine and the steroid prednisolone.
Rituximab (Mabthera) is a type of biological therapy called a monoclonal antibody. Before this trial was done, earlier studies showed that it may be a useful treatment for follicular lymphoma. In this trial, doctors wanted to see how well CVP and rituximab worked together in treating advanced follicular lymphoma.
The aims of the trial were to find out
- If rituximab and CVP is better than CVP alone for advanced follicular lymphoma
- More about the side effects
Summary of results
The trial team found that rituximab and CVP together is a useful treatment for people with advanced follicular lymphoma.
The trial recruited 322 people
- Half had CVP alone
- Half had CVP and rituximab
The researchers analysed the early results in 2004. They looked at how well people responded to treatment about 6 weeks after it finished. They found that around 8 in 10 people (81%) who had CVP with rituximab had lymphoma that either improved or disappeared. This compared to around 6 in 10 people (57%) who had CVP alone.
About 2 ½ years after treatment finished, the researchers looked at people whose lymphoma had continued to grow. On average, CVP and rituximab controlled the lymphoma for about 2 ½ years. This compared with 1 ½ years for CVP alone.
Side effects were quite similar in both treatment groups. But more people who had CVP and rituximab had problems with a drop in white blood cells. And a few had a mild or moderate allergic reaction to rituximab.
The researchers continued to follow up the people who took part in the trial to study differences in long term survival between the 2 groups. They analysed these results in 2008. They found the number of people alive 4 years after treatment was higher in the group who had CVP and rituximab (83%) compared to those who had CVP alone (77%).
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.
Dr R Marcus