The standard treatment for diffuse large B-cell lymphoma (DLBCL) or grade 3b follicular lymphoma that has relapsed after first treatment is rituximab combined with chemotherapy. Patients who respond well have their own stem cells collected and then re-infused after additional high-dose chemotherapy. However, rituximab improves the effectiveness of chemotherapy in only a small percentage of patients.
The purpose of this study is to see if giving the drug ofatumumab in place of rituximab in this treatment regimen is more effective than rituximab. Patients will receive either ofatumumab or rituximab, combined with standard chemotherapy, but not both. Patients in whom treatment works to control their lymphoma with then be treated with standard high-dose chemotherapy with transplantation of their own stem cells. This regimen will be assessed in patients with DLBCL or grade 3b follicular lymphoma that has returned or progressed despite prior treatment.
Ofatumumab is approved for treating chronic lymphocytic leukemia and has been assessed in non-Hodgkin¿s lymphoma, but its use in this study is considered investigational.