CLL Dosing Rationale
RITUXAN 375 mg/m2 in Cycle 1 and 500 mg/m2 in Cycles 2-6 of R-FC—proven dosing in CLL
TWO LARGE PHASE III STUDIES RESULTED IN THE INDICATED DOSING IN CLL1
|The only FDA-approved dosing of RITUXAN in the R-FC regimen1*|
|Cycle 1||Cycles 2-6|
|375 mg/m2||500 mg/m2|
given on the day prior to the initiation
of the first cycle of FC chemotherapy
given on Day 1 of subsequent cycles
- *In the R-FC regimen, fludarabine (25 mg/m2 per day) and cyclophosphamide (250 mg/m2 per day) are given on Days 1-3 of all cycles. Each cycle is 28 days in length.1
- CLL=chronic lymphocytic leukemia; R=RITUXAN; FC=fludarabine and cyclophosphamide.
From a biologic standpoint, CLL has important differences from NHL
There is lower expression of CD20 on the surface of B cells in CLL than is seen in follicular lymphoma2,3
There is a higher number of circulating malignant cells in CLL than in follicular lymphoma4-6
The 500 mg/m2 dose of RITUXAN in Cycles 2-6 of the R-FC regimen is supported by data from multiple Phase II and Phase III trials
RITUXAN is not approved as monotherapy in CLL.
- RITUXAN can cause severe, including fatal, infusion reactions. Severe reactions typically occurred during the first infusion, with time to onset of 30 to 120 minutes
- RITUXAN-induced infusion reactions and sequelae include urticaria, hypotension, angioedema, hypoxia, bronchospasm, pulmonary infiltrates, acute respiratory distress syndrome, myocardial infarction, ventricular fibrillation, cardiogenic shock, anaphylactoid events, or death
- Premedicate patients with an antihistamine and acetaminophen prior to dosing. Depending on the severity of the infusion reaction and the required interventions, slow the infusion rate, interrupt the infusion, or permanently discontinue RITUXAN
- Closely monitor patients with pre-existing cardiac or pulmonary conditions, those who experienced prior cardiopulmonary adverse reactions, and those with high numbers of circulating malignant cells (≥25,000/mm3)
RITUXAN in combination with FC for previously untreated CLL
- In the CLL8 study of patients with previously untreated CLL, detailed safety data collection was limited to Grade 3 and 4 adverse reactions and serious adverse reactions
- Grade 3 or 4 adverse reactions that occurred more frequently in patients treated with R-FC vs. FC were infusion reactions (9% in the R-FC arm), neutropenia (30% vs. 19%), febrile neutropenia (9% vs. 6%), leukopenia (23% vs. 12%), and pancytopenia (3% vs. 1%)
- The frequency of prolonged neutropenia for patients who received R-FC vs. FC was 8.5% and 5.8% respectively. For patients who did not have prolonged neutropenia, the frequency of late-onset neutropenia for patients who received R-FC vs. FC was 14.8% and 4.3%, respectively
- Grade 3 or 4 adverse reactions that occurred more frequently in R-FC-treated patients ≥70 years of age compared to younger patients were neutropenia (44% vs. 31%), febrile neutropenia (16% vs. 6%), pancytopenia (7% vs. 2%), and anemia (5% vs. 2%)
RITUXAN in combination with FC for previously treated CLL
- Grade 3 or 4 adverse reactions that occurred more frequently in patients treated with R-FC vs. FC were infusion reactions (7% in R-FC arm), neutropenia (49% vs. 44%), febrile neutropenia (15% vs. 12%), thrombocytopenia (11% vs. 9%), hypotension (2% vs. 0%), and hepatitis B (2% vs. <1%)
- The frequency of prolonged neutropenia for patients who received R-FC vs. FC was 24.8% and 19.1% respectively. For patients who did not have prolonged neutropenia, the frequency of late-onset neutropenia for patients who received R-FC vs. FC was 38.7% and 13.6%, respectively
- Grade 3 or 4 adverse reactions that occurred more frequently in R-FC-treated patients ≥70 years of age compared to younger patients were neutropenia (56% vs. 39%), infections (30% vs. 14%), anemia (21% vs. 10%), thrombocytopenia (19% vs. 8%), and pancytopenia (7% vs. 2%)
- Fifty-nine percent of R-FC–treated patients experienced an infusion reaction
- RITUXAN® (Rituximab) full prescribing information, Genentech, Inc., 2013.
- Almasri NM, Duque RE, Iturraspe J, Everett E, Braylan RC. Reduced expression of CD20 antigen as a characteristic marker for chronic lymphocytic leukemia. Am J Hematol. 1992;40:259-263.
- Yee KWL, O’Brien SM. Chronic lymphocytic leukemia: diagnosis and treatment. Mayo Clin Proc. 2006;81:1105-1129.
- Hallek M, Cheson BD, Catovsky D, et al. Guidelines for the diagnosis and treatment of chronic lymphocytic leukemia: a report from the International Workshop on Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia updating the National Cancer Institute—Working Group 1996 guidelines. Blood. 2008;111:5446-5456.
- O’Brien SM, Kantarjian H, Thomas DA, et al. Rituximab dose-escalation trial in chronic lymphocytic leukemia. J Clin Oncol. 2001;19:2165-2170.
- Byrd JC, Murphy T, Howard RS, et al. Rituximab using a thrice weekly dosing schedule in B-cell chronic lymphocytic leukemia and small lymphocytic lymphoma demonstrates clinical activity and acceptable toxicity. J Clin Oncol. 2001;19:2153-2164.
RITUXAN® (Rituximab) is indicated for the treatment of patients with:
- Relapsed or refractory, low-grade or follicular, CD20-positive, B-cell NHL as a single agent
- Previously untreated follicular, CD20-positive, B-cell NHL in combination with first-line chemotherapy and, in patients achieving a complete or partial response to RITUXAN in combination with chemotherapy, as single-agent maintenance therapy
- Non-progressing (including stable disease), low-grade, CD20-positive, B-cell NHL, as a single agent, after first-line CVP chemotherapy
- Previously untreated diffuse large B-cell, CD20-positive NHL in combination with CHOP or other anthracycline-based chemotherapy regimens
- Previously untreated and previously treated CD20-positive CLL in combination with fludarabine and cyclophosphamide (FC)
RITUXAN is not recommended for use in patients with severe, active infections.
Important Safety Information
WARNING: FATAL INFUSION REACTIONS, SEVERE MUCOCUTANEOUS REACTIONS, HEPATITIS B VIRUS REACTIVATION and PROGRESSIVE MULTIFOCAL LEUKOENCEPHALOPATHY
- Infusion Reactions: RITUXAN administration can result in serious, including fatal infusion reactions. Deaths within 24 hours of RITUXAN infusion have occurred. Approximately 80% of fatal infusion reactions occurred in association with the first infusion. Monitor patients closely. Discontinue RITUXAN infusion for severe reactions and provide medical treatment for Grade 3 or 4 infusion reactions
- Severe Mucocutaneous Reactions: Severe, including fatal, mucocutaneous reactions can occur in patients receiving RITUXAN
- Hepatitis B Virus (HBV) Reactivation: HBV reactivation can occur in patients treated with RITUXAN, in some cases resulting in fulminant hepatitis, hepatic failure, and death. Screen all patients for HBV infection before treatment initiation, and monitor patients during and after treatment with RITUXAN. Discontinue RITUXAN and concomitant medications in the event of HBV reactivation
- Progressive Multifocal Leukoencephalopathy (PML), including fatal PML, can occur in patients receiving RITUXAN
Warnings and Precautions
Tumor Lysis Syndrome
- Acute renal failure, hyperkalemia, hypocalcemia, hyperuricemia, or hyperphosphatemia from tumor lysis, some fatal, can occur within 12−24 hours after the first infusion of RITUXAN in patients with NHL. A high number of circulating malignant cells (≥25,000/mm3) or high tumor burden, confers a greater risk of TLS. Administer aggressive intravenous hydration and anti hyperuricemic therapy in patients at high risk for TLS
- Serious, including fatal, bacterial, fungal, and new or reactivated viral infections can occur during and following the completion of RITUXAN-based therapy. Discontinue RITUXAN for serious infections and institute appropriate anti infective therapy
- Discontinue infusions for serious or life threatening cardiac arrhythmias. Perform cardiac monitoring during and after all infusions of RITUXAN for patients who develop clinically significant arrhythmias, or who have a history of arrhythmia or angina
- Severe, including fatal, renal toxicity can occur after RITUXAN administration in patients with NHL. Monitor closely for signs of renal failure and discontinue RITUXAN in patients with a rising serum creatinine or oliguria
Bowel Obstruction and Perforation
- Abdominal pain, bowel obstruction and perforation, in some cases leading to death, can occur in patients receiving RITUXAN in combination with chemotherapy. Evaluate if symptoms of obstruction such as abdominal pain or repeated vomiting occur
- The safety of immunization with live viral vaccines following RITUXAN therapy has not been studied and vaccination with live virus vaccines is not recommended
- Obtain complete blood counts (CBC) prior to each RITUXAN course
Additional Important Safety Information
- The most common Grade 3 or 4 adverse reactions in clinical trials of NHL and CLL were infusion reactions, neutropenia, leukopenia, anemia, thrombocytopenia, and infections. Additionally, lymphopenia and lung disorder were seen in NHL trials; and febrile neutropenia, pancytopenia, hypotension, and hepatitis B were seen in CLL trials
- The most common adverse reactions (incidence ≥25%) in clinical trials of NHL and CLL were infusion reactions. Additionally, fever, lymphopenia, chills, infection, and asthenia were seen in NHL trials; and neutropenia was seen in CLL trials
- Pregnancy: Category C. There are no adequate and well-controlled studies of rituximab in pregnant women
Attention Healthcare Provider: Provide Medication Guide to patient prior to RITUXAN infusion.
You may report side effects to the FDA at (800) FDA-1088 or www.fda.gov/medwatch.
You may also report side effects to Genentech at (888) 835-2555.