Conclusion Addition of the anti-CD20 monoclonal antibody rituximab to chemotherapy (R-chemo) has been shown to improve response rates and progression-free survival in patients with indolent or mantle cell lymphoma. However, the impact of R-chemo on overall survival is unclear. We performed a comprehensive systematic review and meta-analysis to examine the efficacy of combined immunochemotherapy using R-chemo compared with the identical chemotherapy alone with respect to overall survival in patients with advanced indolent lymphoma or mantle cell lymphoma. Medical databases and conference proceedings were searched for randomized controlled trials published from January 1990 through December 2005 that compared R-chemo with chemotherapy alone in patients with newly diagnosed or relapsed indolent lymphoma or mantle cell lymphoma. We included full-text and abstract publications. Endpoints were overall survival, disease control, overall response, and toxicity. A fixed-effects model was assumed in all meta-analyses. For binary data, the relative risk was used as an indicator of treatment effect, and the Mantel – Haenszel method was used to pool relative risks. Statistical tests for heterogeneity were one-sided; statistical tests for effect estimates were two-sided. Seven randomized controlled trials involving 1943 patients with follicular lymphoma, mantle cell lymphoma
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