The current study compared the effectiveness of FCR to FC alone. 817 patients were randomly assigned to FCR treatment or FC treatment. None of the patients had been treated previously.
Average PFS was longer in the FCR group (51.8 months) than the FC group (32.8 months). The risk of progression was 44% lower in the FCR group. An improvement in PFS was seen in patients of all stages of CLL.
FCR treatment reduced the mortality risk by 33% compared to FC. More patients in the FCR group achieved complete remission (no sign of disease). After 3 years, 76% of those who achieved remission were progression free.
FCR was associated with more instances of low neutrophils (34%, a type of white blood cell) than FC (21%). FCR was also associated with more instances of low blood counts (24%) compared to FC (12%). Infection rates were not significantly different.
Patients with a certain genetic mutation (IGHV) also saw improvements in response with FCR. Time to disease progression was significantly longer with FCR (average not reached) compared to FC (average 41.9 months).
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