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Thursday 01 December 2005

Dose-dense CHOP plus rituximab (R-CHOP14) for the treatment of elderly patients with high-risk diffuse large B cell lymphoma: a pilot study.

By: Rigacci L, Nassi L, Alterini R, Carrai V, Longo G, Bernardi F, Martini V, Bosi A.

Acta Haematol 2006;115(1-2):22-7

BACKGROUND: Aggressive non-Hodgkin's lymphomas (NHL) require intensive therapies which seemed impracticable in elderly patients. Dose reduction and therapy attenuation reduced treatment-related toxicity, but also decreased therapeutic efficacy. In elderly patients too, the achievement of complete remission is the most important prognostic factor affecting outcome. Therefore, we have treated elderly patients with a dose-intensified protocol. Aim of the study was to verify the feasibility of this scheme in a subset of patients with high-risk aggressive lymphomas. METHODS: Between June 2002 and June 2004, 26 patients over the age of 60 years with a diagnosis of aggressive NHL and an intermediate-high or high International Prognostic Index were treated with biweekly CHOP plus rituximab with the support of granulocyte colony-stimulating factors (G-CSF). RESULTS: Seventeen patients (65%) regularly kept the interval between cycles. Haematological and extrahaematological toxicities were moderate in all the patients. Twenty (77%) patients achieved complete remissions, 6 (23%) partial remissions with an overall response rate of 100%. After a median follow-up of 23 months, the overall survival was 79%; after a median follow-up of 17 months, the disease-free survival was 70%. CONCLUSION: These results confirm that a dose-dense CHOP programme can be administered safely and effectively in a subset of elderly patients with high-risk aggressive NHL. The addition of rituximab could increase the response rate without adding toxicity. Copyright 2006 S. Karger AG, Basel.

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