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Thursday 01 July 2004

Oxaliplatin/rituximab combination in the treatment of intermediate-low grade non-Hodgkin's lymphoma of elderly patients.

By: Addeo R, Caraglia M, Costanzo R, Faiola V, Montella L, Abbruzzese A, Del Prete S.

Oncol Rep 2004 Jul;12(1):135-40

High and intermediate grade non-Hodgkin's lymphomas (NHL) require treatments with aggressive chemotherapy schedules. However, low grade NHLs display a low chemoresponsiveness and patients aged >65 years often do not tolerate anthracycline and corticosteroid-containing chemotherapy regimens. Therapeutic options in this subset of patients are watchful waiting, oral alkylating agents, purine nucleoside analogues, combination chemotherapy, interferon and monoclonal antibodies. The approval of rituximab, an unconjugated chimeric antibody against the CD20 antigen for the treatment of B-cell NHL marked a milestone in the development of antibody treatment. Moreover, promising results have also been found with oxaliplatin in patients with NHL and reversible, cumulative, peripheral sensory neuropathy is the principle dose-limiting factor of oxaliplatin therapy. On the basis of these considerations we have performed a feasibility study in NHL in patients aged >65 years using as schedule: 130 mg/m2 oxaliplatin every 21 days and 375 mg/m2 rituximab weekly. We have enrolled 8 patients, 2 males and 6 females (mean age 69.2+/-3.1 years; median, 67 years) affected by intermediate or high grade stage III/IV NHL. Six patients have cardiac abnormalities (myocardial function between 45 and 50%) and 1 increase of transaminasemia due to active chronic hepatitis. All the patients included in the study were treated for at least 3 cycles and 31 cycles were completed. We have recorded grade I/II (CTC) neurotoxicity in 30%, grade I anemia in 25% and grade I neutropenia in 20% of the patients. No infusional reactions, liver or renal toxicity neither nausea and/or vomiting were recorded. One complete response, 3 partial response and 3 minimal response were obtained at 11 months of median time follow-up. These results demonstrate the feasibility of this schedule which offers a suitable alternative regimen to treat elderly patients with NHL and shows a good efficacy and an acceptable toxicity profile.

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