Combination antibody therapy with epratuzumab and rituximab in relapsed or refractory non-Hodgkin's lymphoma.
PURPOSE: To explore the safety and therapeutic activity of combination anti-B-cell monoclonal antibody therapy in non-Hodgkin's lymphoma (NHL). PATIENTS AND METHODS: Twenty-three patients with recurrent B-cell lymphoma received anti-CD22 epratuzumab 360 mg/m(2) and anti-CD20 rituximab 375 mg/m(2) monoclonal antibodies weekly for four doses each. Sixteen patients had indolent histologies (15 with follicular lymphoma) and seven had aggressive NHL (all diffuse large B-cell lymphoma [DLBCL]). Indolent patients had received a median of one (range, one to six) prior treatment, with 31% refractory to their last therapy and 81% with high-risk Follicular Lymphoma International Prognostic Index scores. Patients with DLBCL had a median of three (range, one to eight) prior regimens (14% resistant to last treatment) and 71% had high intermediate-risk or high-risk International Prognostic Index scores. All patients were rituximab naïve. RESULTS: Treatment was well tolerated, with toxicities principally infusion-related and predominantly grade 1 or 2. Ten (67%) patients with follicular NHL achieved an objective response (OR), including nine of 15 (60%) with complete responses (CRs and unconfirmed CRs). Four of six assessable patients (67%) with DLBCL achieved an OR, including three (50%) CRs. Median time to progression for all indolent NHL patients was 17.8 months. CONCLUSION: The full-dose combination of epratuzumab with rituximab was well tolerated and had significant clinical activity in NHL, suggesting that this combination should be tested in comparison with single-agent treatment.