The treatment of Burkitt's lymphoma with rituximab is controversial, and studies that compared the efficacy of chemotherapy alone with chemotherapy plus rituximab have not been powered to test differences in overall survival (OS). We conducted this systematic review and meta-analysis to identify the value of rituximab for the treatment of BL to guide treatment decisions.
Based on the Pubmed, Web of Science and Cochrane library online electronic databases, all retrospective and randomized clinical trial studies that compared the aforementioned two regimens were included. The pooled hazard ratio and odds ratio were analyzed using Review Manager 5.3. The primary outcome was the 2-year OS.
A total of 581 publications were identified using a predetermined search strategy. One randomized controlled trial (RCT) and 5 retrospective studies, which included 646 cases (351 cases for the chemotherapy with rituximab group and 295 cases for the chemotherapy alone group), fulfilled the selection criteria and were included in the meta-analysis. The chemotherapy with rituximab group was associated with a higher 2-year OS (hazard ratio: 0.62, 95% CI 0.45-0.85, P = 0.003), 2-year progression free survival (hazard ratio: 0.46, 95% CI 0.43-0.50, P < 0. 001) and complete remission rate (odds ratios: 3.26, 95% CI 1.22-8.66, P = 0.02). In addition, the treatment-related mortality did not significantly differ between the two treatment regimens (odds ratio: 1.16, 95% CI 0.55-2.45, P = 0.69).
The meta-analysis indicates that the addition of rituximab to the treatment regimen for Burkitt's lymphoma may be associated with a significant survival benefit and did not increase the mortality compared with chemotherapy alone.
Clinical trial identification
All authors have declared no conflicts of interest.