VNCOP-B plus rituximab therapy in elderly patients with aggressive B-cell non-Hodgkin lymphoma: a multicenter experience

Kazuyoshi Ishii, Fumiaki Urase, Yasuaki Nagare, Hidetsugu Kimura, Masahiro Manabe, Toshiya Yagi, Hirofumi Teshima, Kunio Hayashi, Masaru Shibano, Machiko Tsukaguchi, Tatsuya Katsurada, Atsuko Mugitani, Hitoshi Kitayama, Shosaku Nomura
Archives of Gerontology and Geriatrics 2010, 51 (2): 209-15
CHOP (cyclophosphamide, adriamycin, vincristine, and prednisolone) plus rituximab is a standard chemotherapy used to treat patients with aggressive B-cell non-Hodgkin lymphoma (B-NHL). However, among elderly patients, this regimen has not been completely satisfactory in its efficacy and safety. We report our clinical experience in 8 collaborative institutions to determine if the VNCOP-B (etoposide, mitoxantrone, cyclophosphamide, vincristine, prednisolone, and bleomycin) combination therapy plus rituximab was effective and safe to treat elderly patients with aggressive B-NHL. Between September 2004 and December 2007, 23 previously untreated patients, median age 73 years, 50.0% classified as high-intermediate/high-risk on the standard International Prognostic Index (IPI) entered this trial. Complete remission rate was 90.5%, with a 100% overall response rate (RR) at the end of induction therapy; overall survival (OS) rate at 3 years was 76.4% (median follow-up 744 days), with an 82.6% 3-year progression-free survival (PFS) rate (median follow-up 744 days). The most common grade 3/4 toxicities were hematologic, including neutropenia in 75.0% of the patients despite prophylactic administration of granulocyte colony-stimulating factor (G-CSF), febrile neutropenia in 30.0%, respectively. There was no treatment-related mortality (TRM). Rituximab not only combined with chemotherapy but also given sequentially improved survival. R-VNCOP-B could be another option for elderly patients who are not considered to tolerate in receiving R-CHOP.

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