Background: Among the third-generation chemotherapy regimens specifically adapted in the last decade for elderly aggressive non-Hodgkin's lymphoma (NHL) patients, we designed an 8-week cyclophosphamide, mitoxantrone, vincristine, etoposide, bleomycin and prednisone (VNCOP-B) plus granulocyte colony-stimulating factor (G-CSF) regimen which, in a national multicenter trial, induced good complete response (CR) and relapse-free survival rates with only moderate toxic effects. Here we report a prospective, multicenter, randomized trial comparing the efficacy and toxicity of 8- and 12-week regimens of VNCOP-B plus G-CSF. Patients and methods: From February 1996 to June 2001, 306 consecutive previously untreated stage II-IV aggressive NHL patients ≥60 years of age were enrolled from 12 Italian cooperative institutions. Of the 297 evaluable patients, 149 and 148 received 8- and 12-week regimens, respectively, of VNCOP-B. Results: The CR rates were 63% and 56% in the 8- and 12-week groups; at a median of 32 months (range 3-62 months), relapse-free survival rates were 59% and 55%, respectively. Hematological and non-hematological toxicities were similar in both treatment groups. Conclusions: Our data show that extending induction treatment with the VNCOP-B plus G-CSF regimen from 8 to 12 weeks does not raise the CR rate or provide a more durable remission.
- Aggressive non-Hogdkin's lymphoma
- Elderly patients
- Granulocyte colony-stimulating factor
- VNCOP-B regimen
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cancer Research