GELA LNH 98-5 Trial

Up to 8 cycles of RITUXAN+CHOP significantly improved OS for elderly DLBCL patients


Chart: GELA Trial Design: R-CHOP x8 vs CHOP x8
  • CHOP=cyclophosphamide 750 mg/m2 on Day 1, doxorubicin 50 mg/m2 on Day 1, vincristine 1.4 mg/m2 on Day 1; prednisone 40 mg/m2/day on Days 1 through 5. R=RITUXAN 375 mg/m2, given on the first day of each CHOP cycle. Randomization was stratified by the IPI score. Tumor response was assessed after the eighth cycle of treatment or at the end of treatment.2
  • GELA=Groupe d’Etude des Lymphomes de l’Adulte; OS=overall survival; DLBCL=diffuse large B-cell lymphoma.


Baseline patient characteristics R-CHOP
Age range (years) 59-80 60-80
Median age 70 69
Elevated LDH (>1×ULN) 65% 67%
Ann Arbor Stage I/II III/IV 20%
ECOG performance status 0-1 2-3 78%
Bulky disease (>10 cm) 30% 33%
Extranodal involvement (≥2) 52% 52%
IPI score* <2 ≥2 40%
  • *In the GELA trial, the age-adjusted IPI score, which ranged from 0 to 3, was derived by assigning 1 point for each of the following risk factors: Ann Arbor Stage III or IV, ECOG performance status ≥2, and elevated LDH.
  • LDH=lactate dehydrogenase; ULN=upper limit of normal; ECOG=Eastern Cooperative Oncology Group; IPI=International Prognostic Index.


Chart: GELA Trial: Overall Survival at 5-Year Median Followup (N=399)
  • OS, with a median follow-up of 5 years, was 58% for 8 cycles of R-CHOP vs 46% for CHOP alone1
  • 164% improvement in the primary endpoint of event-free survival at 2-year follow-up (2.9 years vs 1.1 years, p<0.05)1

RITUXAN in combination with CHOP chemotherapy for DLBCL

  • Detailed safety data collection was primarily limited to Grade 3 and 4 adverse reactions and serious reactions. In studies of elderly patients with DLBCL, the following adverse reactions, regardless of severity, were reported more frequently (≥5%) in patients ≥60 years of age receiving R-CHOP as compared with CHOP alone: pyrexia (56% vs. 46%), lung disorder (31% vs. 24%), cardiac disorder (29% vs. 21%), and chills (13% vs. 4%)
  • A review of cardiac toxicity determined that supraventricular arrhythmias or tachycardia accounted for most of the difference in cardiac disorders (4.5% for R-CHOP vs. 1.0% for CHOP)
  • The following Grade 3 or 4 adverse reactions occurred more frequently among patients in the R-CHOP arm compared with those in the CHOP arm: thrombocytopenia (9% vs. 7%) and lung disorder (6% vs. 3%). Other Grade 3 or 4 adverse reactions reported more frequently among patients receiving R-CHOP were viral infection, neutropenia, and anemia

  1. RITUXAN® (Rituximab) full prescribing information, Genentech, Inc., 2013.
  2. Coiffier B, Lepage E, Brière J, et al. CHOP chemotherapy plus rituximab compared with CHOP alone in elderly patients with diffuse large-B-cell lymphoma. N Engl J Med. 2002;346:235-242.
  3. Feugier P, Van Hoof A, Sebban C, et al. Long-term results of the R-CHOP study in the treatment of elderly patients with diffuse large B-cell lymphoma: a study by the Groupe d’Etude des Lymphomes de l’Adulte. J Clin Oncol. 2005;23:4117-4126.


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



  • 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

Laboratory Monitoring

  • 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

For additional safety information, please see the full prescribing information, including BOXED WARNINGS and Medication Guide.

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

You may also report side effects to Genentech at (888) 835-2555.