CHOP-like chemotherapy plus rituximab versus CHOP-like chemotherapy alone in young patients with good-prognosis diffuse large-B-cell lymphoma: a randomised controlled trial by the MabThera International Trial (MInT) Group

Lancet Oncol. 2006 May;7(5):379-91. doi: 10.1016/S1470-2045(06)70664-7.


Background: The role of rituximab in combination with different CHOP (cyclophosphamide, doxorubicin, vincristine, and prednisone)-like chemotherapy regimens in young patients with good-prognosis diffuse large-B-cell lymphoma remains to be defined. We aimed to compare CHOP-like chemotherapy and rituximab with CHOP-like chemotherapy alone in these patients.

Methods: 824 patients who were from 18 countries; aged 18-60 years; and who had no risk factors or one risk factor according to age-adjusted International Prognostic Index (IPI), stage II-IV disease, or stage I disease with bulk were enrolled. These patients were randomly assigned to six cycles of CHOP-like chemotherapy and rituximab (n=413) or to six cycles of CHOP-like chemotherapy alone (n=411). Bulky and extranodal sites received additional radiotherapy. The primary endpoint was event-free survival; secondary endpoints were response, progression under therapy, progression-free survival, overall survival, and frequency of toxic effects. Analyses were done by intention to treat and per protocol. This trial is registered at, NCT 00064116.

Findings: After a median follow-up of 34 months (range 0.03-61), patients assigned chemotherapy and rituximab had increased 3-year event-free survival compared with those assigned chemotherapy alone (79% [95% CI 75-83] vs 59% [54-64]; difference between groups 20% [13-27], log-rank p<0.0001), and had increased 3-year overall survival (93% [90-95] vs 84% [80-88]; difference between groups 9% [3-13], log-rank p=0.0001). Event-free survival was affected by treatment group, presence of bulky disease, and age-adjusted IPI: after chemotherapy and rituximab, a favourable subgroup (ie, IPI=0, no bulk) could be defined from a less-favourable subgroup (ie, IPI=1 or bulk, or both). Groups did not differ in the frequency of adverse events.

Interpretation: Rituximab added to six cycles of CHOP is an effective treatment for young patients with good-prognosis diffuse large-B-cell lymphoma. The definition of two prognostic subgroups allows for a more refined therapeutic approach for these patients.

Trial registration: NCT00064116.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Antibodies, Monoclonal / therapeutic use*
  • Antibodies, Monoclonal, Murine-Derived
  • Antineoplastic Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Antineoplastic Combined Chemotherapy Protocols*
  • Cyclophosphamide
  • Disease-Free Survival
  • Doxorubicin
  • Humans
  • Lymphoma, B-Cell / diagnosis
  • Lymphoma, B-Cell / drug therapy*
  • Lymphoma, Non-Hodgkin / diagnosis
  • Lymphoma, Non-Hodgkin / drug therapy*
  • Middle Aged
  • Prednisone
  • Prognosis
  • Rituximab
  • Survival Rate
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Vincristine


  • Antibodies, Monoclonal
  • Antibodies, Monoclonal, Murine-Derived
  • Antineoplastic Agents
  • Rituximab
  • Vincristine
  • Doxorubicin
  • Cyclophosphamide
  • Prednisone

Supplementary concepts

  • CHOP protocol

Associated data