CLINICAL TRIAL
JOURNAL ARTICLE
MULTICENTER STUDY
RESEARCH SUPPORT, NON-U.S. GOV'T
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Non-Hodgkin's lymphoma in pediatric patients with chromosomal breakage syndromes (AT and NBS): experience from the BFM trials.

BACKGROUND: Lymphoma and leukemia are the commonest malignant diseases in patients with chromosomal breakage syndromes and immunodeficiency (Ataxia teleangiectasia (AT) and Nijmegen breakage syndrome (NBS)). With improved management of infections, malignant disease is more frequently diagnosed and has become one of the commonest causes of death in pediatric AT and NBS.

PATIENTS AND METHODS: In three consecutive multicenter therapy trials for pediatric non-Hodgkin's lymphoma (NHL) (NHL-BFM), 1569 patients with newly diagnosed NHL have been registered between 1986 and 1997. Nine patients with AT (n = 5) and NBS (n = 4) were identified and analysed.

RESULTS: Median age of patients with AT and NBS at diagnosis of NHL was nine years. NHL-entities differed from non-AT/NBS-patients: diffuse large B-cell lymphomas, n = 7 (78%); ALCL, n = 1; lymphoblastic T-cell lymphoma, n = 1. Cervical nodes, paranasal sinuses and epipharynx were the sites most frequently involved. Stages were: I and II in three patients, III in five and IV in one patient. All patients received polychemotherapy according to tumor-entity and stage, none received radiation. Dose reductions according to individual tolerance concerned mainly ethotrexate, alkylating agents and epipodophyllotoxines. One patient died of toxic complications, two patients relapsed and died, one patient suffered from second malignancy. Five of nine patients are in 1. CCR after a median follow-up of five years.

CONCLUSIONS: Patients with AT and NBS suffer from rare entities of pediatric NHL. Curative treatment is possible and should be attempted. Intensity of therapy should be adjusted to individual risk factors and tolerance. Alkylating agents, epipodophyllotoxines should be omitted, dose of MTX should be limited to 1 g/m2. Further cooperative trials using standardized approaches are required.

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