Dose-Adjusted EPOCH-R Compared With R-CHOP as Frontline Therapy for Diffuse Large B-Cell Lymphoma: Clinical Outcomes of the Phase III Intergroup Trial Alliance/CALGB 50303.


Journal Article

PURPOSE: Alliance/CALGB 50303 (NCT00118209), an intergroup, phase III study, compared dose-adjusted etoposide, prednisone, vincristine, cyclophosphamide, doxorubicin, and rituximab (DA-EPOCH-R) with standard rituximab, cyclophosphamide, doxorubicin, vincristine, and prednisone (R-CHOP) as frontline therapy for diffuse large B-cell lymphoma. PATIENTS AND METHODS: Patients received six cycles of DA-EPOCH-R or R-CHOP. The primary objective was progression-free survival (PFS); secondary clinical objectives included response rate, overall survival (OS), and safety. RESULTS: Between 2005 and 2013, 524 patients were registered; 491 eligible patients were included in the final analysis. Most patients (74%) had stage III or IV disease; International Prognostic Index (IPI) risk groups included 26% IPI 0 to 1, 37% IPI 2, 25% IPI 3, and 12% IPI 4 to 5. At a median follow-up of 5 years, PFS was not statistically different between the arms (hazard ratio, 0.93; 95% CI, 0.68 to 1.27; P = .65), with a 2-year PFS rate of 78.9% (95% CI, 73.8% to 84.2%) for DA-EPOCH-R and 75.5% (95% CI, 70.2% to 81.1%) for R-CHOP. OS was not different (hazard ratio, 1.09; 95% CI, 0.75 to 1.59; P = .64), with a 2-year OS rate of 86.5% (95% CI, 82.3% to 91%) for DA-EPOCH-R and 85.7% (95% CI, 81.4% to 90.2%) for R-CHOP. Grade 3 and 4 adverse events were more common (P < .001) in the DA-EPOCH-R arm than the R-CHOP arm, including infection (16.9% v 10.7%, respectively), febrile neutropenia (35.0% v 17.7%, respectively), mucositis (8.4% v 2.1%, respectively), and neuropathy (18.6% v 3.3%, respectively). Five treatment-related deaths (2.1%) occurred in each arm. CONCLUSION: In the 50303 study population, the more intensive, infusional DA-EPOCH-R was more toxic and did not improve PFS or OS compared with R-CHOP. The more favorable results with R-CHOP compared with historical controls suggest a potential patient selection bias and may preclude generalizability of results to specific risk subgroups.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Bartlett, NL; Wilson, WH; Jung, S-H; Hsi, ED; Maurer, MJ; Pederson, LD; Polley, M-YC; Pitcher, BN; Cheson, BD; Kahl, BS; Friedberg, JW; Staudt, LM; Wagner-Johnston, ND; Blum, KA; Abramson, JS; Reddy, NM; Winter, JN; Chang, JE; Gopal, AK; Chadburn, A; Mathew, S; Fisher, RI; Richards, KL; Schöder, H; Zelenetz, AD; Leonard, JP

Published Date

  • July 20, 2019

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 37 / 21

Start / End Page

  • 1790 - 1799

PubMed ID

  • 30939090

Pubmed Central ID

  • 30939090

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1527-7755

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1200/JCO.18.01994


  • eng

Conference Location

  • United States