Idarubicin in patients with diffuse large cell lymphomas: A randomized trial comparing VACOP-B (A = doxorubicin) vs VICOP-B (I = idarubicin)

Marilena Bertini, Roberto Freilone, Barbara Botto, Roberta Calvi, Andrea Gallamini, Anna Maria Gatti, Anna Maria Liberati, Vittorio Meneghini, Ester Orlandi, Lorella Orsucci, Michele Pizzuti, Delia Rota Scalabrini, Flavia Salvi, Giuseppe Todeschini, Umberto Vitolo, Luigi Resegotti

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background and Objective. Idarubicin is an effective drug in acute leukemia but its use in non-Hodgkin lymphomas (NHLs) is not yet well established. We evaluated its efficacy in patients with diffuse large cell lymphoma (DLCL) by means of a randomized trial comparing two 12-week regimens (VACOP-B and VICOP-B) which differed only in the anthracycline drug used (doxorubicin vs idarubicin). Methods. From January 1992 to December 1994, 104 patients aged less than 65 years with de novo advanced stage DLCL were enrolled. Fifty-two patients were treated with VACOP-B (doxorubicin 50 mg/sqm) and 52 with VICOP-B (idarubicin initially 8 mg/sqm and thereafter 10 mg/sqm). Results. Clinical characteristics of the two groups were not significantly different. One HBsAg+ patient died of hepatic necrosis in the VICOP-B arm, and severe (WHO grade > 2) toxicities occurred in 7 patients treated with VACOP-B and in 5 treated with VICOP-B; the only significant difference was for mucositis (p=0.02). Complete remission (CR) was obtained in 79% of patients receiving VACOP-B and in 56% (idarubicin 8 mg/sqm) and 75% (idarubicin 10 mg/sqm) of those in the VICOP-B group (p=n.s.). Prognostic factors that negatively affected CR were advanced stage in VACOP, bone marrow infiltration in both schedules. At a median follow-up of two years, overall survival (67% VACOP and 61% VICOP) and disease-free survival (65% and 67%, respectively) were not significantly different. Interpretation and Conclusions. Idarubicin is slightly less toxic than doxorubicin; at a dose of 10 mg/sqm the former is easily tolerated and shows the same efficacy as doxorubicin in the treatment of DLCL.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)309-313
Number of pages5
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - May 1997


  • Anthracyclines
  • Chemotherapy
  • Malignant lymphoma

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Hematology


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