MACOP-B treatment for advanced stage diffuse large cell lymphoma: A multicenter Italian study

Umberto Vitolo, Marilena Bertini, Corrado Tarella, Maria C. Bertoncelli, Andrea Gallamini, Eugenio Gallo, Anna M. Gatti, Riccardo Ghio, Alessandro Levis, Giovanni Luxi, Luciano Marchi, Anna Novarino, Ester Orlandi, Lorella Orsucci, Franco Ricciuti, Delia Rota-Scalabrini, Enzo Scassa, Carlo Bernasconi, Alessandro Pileri, Luigi Resegotti

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Seventy-one patients with advanced stage diffuse large cell lymphoma were treated with MACOP-B. Sixty-nine per cent of patients achieved a complete response (CR), 10% a partial remission, while 11% had no response and 10% died because of toxicity. The CR rate was adversely affected by immunoblastic type, poor performance status and bone marrow involvement. Two-year survival for all 71 patients was 55% and 2-year disease-free survival (DFS) for the 49 CRs was 73%. Relapses were lower (P <0.05) in patients achieving CR in 8 weeks or less (DFS 83% vs. 59%) and in patients without tumor bulk (DFS 87% vs. 54%). Overall toxicity was acceptable with mucositis proving to be the most frequent severe side-effect. However, treatment-related deaths were unacceptably high in patients over 59 years of age (30% vs. 7%). Thus for the elderly MACOP-B is potentially lethal and must be used cautiously. These preliminary results confirm the effectiveness of MACOP-B. The delay of response and/or the presence of tumor bulk may be important prognostic factors in identifying a subset of poor risk patients with a high incidence of relapse.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1441-1449
Number of pages9
JournalEuropean Journal of Cancer and Clinical Oncology
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - 1989

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology


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