Rituximab, cyclophosphamide, doxorubicin, vincristine, and prednisolone combined with high-dose methotrexate plus intrathecal chemotherapy for newly diagnosed intravascular large B-cell lymphoma (PRIMEUR-IVL): a multicentre, single-arm, phase 2 trial

Lancet Oncol. 2020 Apr;21(4):593-602. doi: 10.1016/S1470-2045(20)30059-0. Epub 2020 Mar 11.


Background: Intravascular large B-cell lymphoma (IVLBCL) is a rare disease for which there is no available standard treatment. We aimed to ascertain the safety and activity of R-CHOP (rituximab, cyclophosphamide, doxorubicin, vincristine, and prednisolone) with high-dose methotrexate and intrathecal chemotherapy as CNS-oriented therapy for patients with previously untreated IVLBCL.

Methods: PRIMEUR-IVL is a multicentre, single-arm, phase 2 trial at 22 hospitals in Japan. Eligible patients had untreated histologically confirmed IVLBCL, were aged 20-79 years, had an Eastern Cooperative Group performance status of 0-3, and had no apparent CNS involvement at diagnosis. Patients received three cycles of R-CHOP (rituximab 375 mg/m2 intravenously on day 1 [except cycle one, which was on day 8]; cyclophosphamide 750 mg/m2, doxorubicin 50 mg/m2, and vincristine 1·4 mg/m2 [maximum 2·0 mg] intravenously on day 1 of cycle one and day 2 of cycles two and three; and prednisolone 100 mg/day orally on days 1-5 of cycle one and days 2-6 of cycles two and three) followed by two cycles of rituximab with high-dose methotrexate (3·5 g/m2 intravenously on day 2 of cycles four and five) every 2 weeks and three additional cycles of R-CHOP. Intrathecal chemotherapy (methotrexate 15 mg, cytarabine 40 mg, and prednisolone 10 mg) was administered four times during the R-CHOP phase. The primary endpoint was 2-year progression-free survival. Efficacy analyses were done in all enrolled patients; safety analyses were done in all enrolled and treated patients. The trial is registered in the UMIN Clinical Trials Registry (UMIN000005707) and the Japan Registry of Clinical Trials (jRCTs041180165); the trial is ongoing for long-term follow-up.

Findings: Between June 16, 2011, and July 21, 2016, 38 patients were enrolled, of whom 37 were eligible; one patient was excluded because of a history of testicular lymphoma. Median follow-up was 3·9 years (IQR 2·5-5·5). 2-year progression-free survival was 76% (95% CI 58-87). The most frequent adverse events of grade 3-4 were neutropenia and leucocytopenia, which were reported in all 38 (100%) patients. Serious adverse events were hypokalaemia, febrile neutropenia with hypotension, hypertension, and intracerebral haemorrhage (reported in one [3%] patient each). No treatment-related deaths occurred during protocol treatment.

Interpretation: R-CHOP combined with rituximab and high-dose methotrexate plus intrathecal chemotherapy is a safe and active treatment for patients with IVLBCL without apparent CNS involvement at diagnosis, and this regimen warrants future investigation.

Funding: The Japan Agency for Medical Research and Development, the Center for Supporting Hematology-Oncology Trials, and the National Cancer Center.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial, Phase II
  • Multicenter Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Antineoplastic Agents / administration & dosage*
  • Antineoplastic Combined Chemotherapy Protocols / administration & dosage*
  • Cyclophosphamide / administration & dosage
  • Doxorubicin / administration & dosage
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Lymphoma, Large B-Cell, Diffuse / drug therapy*
  • Male
  • Methotrexate / administration & dosage*
  • Middle Aged
  • Prednisone / administration & dosage
  • Prospective Studies
  • Rituximab / administration & dosage
  • Vascular Neoplasms / drug therapy*
  • Vincristine / administration & dosage
  • Young Adult


  • Antineoplastic Agents
  • R-CHOP protocol
  • Rituximab
  • Vincristine
  • Doxorubicin
  • Cyclophosphamide
  • Prednisone
  • Methotrexate