<>The ACVBP regimen is commonly used in young poor-risk patients with DLBCL candidates to first line consolidative high-dose therapy followed by autologous stem cells transplantation in GELA trials. The combination with the monoclonal anti-CD20 antibody rituximab (R-ACVBP) is now routinely used, as induction treatment and to mobilize peripheral blood stem cell (PBSC). The aim of the present study was to assess the impact of rituximab on PBSC mobilization and collection in patients with newly diagnosed DLBCL receiving ACVBP chemotherapy. We reviewed the data from two prospective controlled trials. The first, conducted between 1999 and 2003, involved patients presenting with 2 or 3 adverse prognostic factors on the basis of the age-adjusted IPI (aa-IPI), treated by ACVBP (LNH 98B-3) (

). In the second trial (LNH 03-3B), conducted between 2004 and 2007, similar patients received the same initial inductive chemotherapy combined to rituximab (375mg/m2 at D1). 137 and 91 patients in the ACVBP and the R-ACVBP groups are here analyzed, respectively. Clinical and biological characteristics at diagnosis of the two groups of patients were similar (aa-IPI 2 and aa-IPI 3: 75% and 25%, respectively). The conditions for G-CSF administration and stem cell collections were identical. PBSC mobilizations were performed following the third or fourth cycle of (R)-ACVBP. The median delay between day 1 of chemotherapy and the first hemapheresis was identical for both groups. First hemapheresis was performed with a median peripheral white blood cell concentration of 16.2 x 109/l and 16.6 x 109/l for ACVBP and R-ACVBP groups, respectively. The median peak number of peripheral blood CD34+ cells observed the same day of first hemapheresis in ACVBP and R-ACVBP group was 69 x 106/l and 63 x 106/l, respectively (p = 0.5). The median number of CD34+ cells collected were 7.1 x 106 and 6.0 x 106 CD34 cells/kg for ACVBP and R-ACVBP groups (p = 0.12) while the median number of hemapheresis to target a minimal number of 3 x 106 CD34 cells/kg was identical, of one, in both groups. Failure of stem cell collection , defined as less than 3 x 106 CD34 cells/kg harvested, was observed in 8% and 4% of the patients who received ACVBP or R-ACVBP , respectively (p = 0.13). We conclude that rituximab combined to ACVBP regimen does not impair PBSC mobilization and collection.

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