"I was delighted to take part in a clinical trial as it has the potential to really help others in the future.”
A trial looking at obinutuzumab with chemotherapy for follicular lymphoma (GALLIUM)
This trial compared obinutuzumab with rituximab for a type of low grade non Hodgkin lymphoma (NHL) called follicular lymphoma.
More about this trial
Doctors often use chemotherapy and a type of targeted cancer drug called rituximab to treat low grade non Hodgkin lymphoma (NHL) such as follicular lymphoma. This treatment works well for many people, but the lymphoma can come back, and you need to have more treatment.
Obinutuzumab (Ga101) is another type of targeted cancer treatment. It works in a similar way to rituximab. People in this trial had chemotherapy and either obinutuzumab or rituximab.
The aims of the trial were to:
- find out if obinutuzumab is better than rituximab for follicular lymphoma
- compare the side effects of the 2 drugs
Summary of results
- 601 people had chemotherapy and obinutuzumab
- 601 people had chemotherapy and rituximab
The research team looked at how well the different treatments worked, and found that the lymphoma had gone away or got a bit better in:
- 532 people (89%) who had chemotherapy and obinutuzumab
- 522 people (87%) who had chemotherapy and rituximab
In 2017 they looked at the results to see how many people’s lymphoma had come back or got worse since treatment. They found it was higher for those who’d had rituximab:
- 66 people (11%) who’d had chemotherapy and obinutuzumab
- 98 people (16%) who’d had chemotherapy and rituximab
This means that people who had obinutuzumab are likely to have longer before their lymphoma starts to grow.
When they looked at how many people had died, they found it was similar in both groups:
- 35 people (6%) who’d had chemotherapy and obinutuzumab
- 46 people (8%) who’d had chemotherapy and rituximab
The research team also looked at the side effects people had. More than 9 out of 10 people taking part had at least one side effect. But many were mild or short term.
A few more people who had obinutuzumab had side effects that were classed as serious. The most common side effects were a reaction to the injection, feeling sick and a drop in white blood cells.
The research team concluded that chemotherapy and obinutuzumab worked better than chemotherapy and rituximab for follicular lymphoma. But it caused more serious side effects.
We have based this summary on information from the research team. The information they sent us has been reviewed by independent specialists (
How to join a clinical trial
Dr Robert Marcus
Experimental Cancer Medicine Centre (ECMC)
NIHR Clinical Research Network: Cancer