A prospective randomized study on aggressive non-Hodgkin's lymphomas was conducted by investigators at several Italian institutions with the intent of comparing two third-generation conceptually different regimens: the regimen containing methotrexate with leucovorin rescue, doxorubicin, cyclophosphamide, vincristine, prednisone, and bleomycin (MACOP-B), a short-term continuous twelve-week therapy, and F-MACHOP (5-fluorouracil, methotrexate with leucovorin rescue, cytarabine, cyclophosphamide, doxorubicin, vincristine, and prednisone), a monthly intensive cyclic treatment combining prednisone with six active non-cross-resistant cytotoxic drugs. The goals of this study were the response rate, relapse-free survival, and incidence of hematologic and nonhematologic toxicities. Two hundred-eighty-six patients included between 15 and 60 years fulfilled the criteria for entry to the study; 140 patients were treated with MACOP-B and 146 with F-MACHOP. The minimum follow-up was 24 months. Clinical characteristics of all patients were similar and known prognostic factors were equally distributed between the two groups. Complete remission (CR) was achieved by 61% and 67% of the patients treated with MACOP-B and F-MACHOP, respectively; 4% and 6% were primarily resistant, 2% and 5% respectively, died of causes directly related to therapy. At 50 months, 74% of all CR patients were alive without disease and there were no significant differences in relapse-free survival between the two groups: 75% in the F-MACHOP group and 73% in the MACOP-B group at 50 months. There was a higher incidence of mucositis among patients treated with MACOP-B than among those given F-MACHOP (11% vs 3.5% Higher incidences of severe cytopenia (51% vs 21% and of fatal sepsis (5% vs 2% were recorded among patients treated with F-MACHOP than with MACOP-B. The third-generation regimens, F-MACHOP and MACOP-B, are as effective as other regimens. A prognostic analysis taking into account the principal covariates (age, symptoms, stage, serum lactate dehydrogenase, mediastinum involvement, bulky disease, histology, therapy, and dose intensity) was assessed for their impact on complete response rate incidence and on relapse rate from complete response by multivariate analysis. The linear logistic model showed that symptoms, advanced stage, mediastinum involvement, and bulky disease are prognostic factors that increase the risk of a lower rate of complete response. These data confirm the important role of a pretreatment selection for the poor-risk patients and, on the basis of these parameters, it will probably be possible to consider these patients for high-dose therapy with autologous bone marrow transplantation or autologous hematopoietic stem-cell support.
- Complete response
- High grade non-Hodgkin's lymphoma
- Kiel classification
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cancer Research