A phase II multicenter trial of high-dose sequential chemotherapy and peripheral blood stem cell transplantation as initial therapy for patients with high-risk non-Hodgkin's lymphoma

D P Schenkein, D Roitman, K B Miller, J Morelli, E Stadtmauer, A L Pecora, P Cassileth, H Fernandez, B W Cooper, L Kutteh, H M Lazarus
Biology of Blood and Marrow Transplantation 1997, 3 (4): 210-6
The purpose of this study was to evaluate the safety and feasibility of front-line high-dose sequential (HDS) chemotherapy with peripheral blood stem cell (PBSC) transplantation in patients with newly diagnosed high-risk non-Hodgkin's lymphoma (NHL). Thirty-two patients with high-risk NHL (defined by the age-adjusted international index) underwent HDS chemotherapy followed by PBSC transplantation and consolidative radiotherapy. Twenty-eight patients (88%) had intermediate/high grade NHL and four patients (12%) had small noncleaved or lymphoblastic lymphoma. Twenty-four patients were classified as high-intermediate-risk (two risk factors) and eight patients were classified as high-risk (three risk factors). The five phases of HDS (see Fig. 1) consisted of Phase I (adriamycin, vincristine, and prednisone); Phase II (cyclophosphamide, filgrastim [G-CSF], and PBSC harvest); Phase III (methotrexate, leucovorin, vincristine; Phase IV (etoposide, filgrastim [G-CSF]); and Phase V (mitoxantrone, melphalan, autologous peripheral blood stem cell infusion, and filgrastim [G-CSF]). Radiation therapy was given to sites of previous bulk disease, 2400 cGy, (D + 30-100)]. Toxicity, engraftment, hospital utilization, overall survival, and relapse-free survival were evaluated. The high-dose sequential chemotherapeutic regimen was well tolerated. Treatment-related mortality was 6.25% with two deaths occurring secondary to sepsis and one death was caused by progressive disease. The major toxicity in Phase I-IV was grade 3 nausea/vomiting. The major toxicity in Phase V was grade 3 or 4 nausea/vomiting and mucositis. The median follow-up is 18.8 months (range 4-44 months). The overall survival (OS) and relapse-free survival (RFS) at 18 months for all patients were 78% (95% CI 37-90%) and 67% (95% CI 46-88%), respectively. The OS at 18 months for all patients, excluding the four patients with either small noncleaved or lymphoblastic lymphoma, was 82% (95% CI 65-98%) vs. 30% (95% CI 0-86%) (p = 0.0059). One patient in this latter group remains alive at 6 months follow-up. The RFS for all patients, excluding the four patients with either small noncleaved or lymphoblastic lymphoma, was 78% (95% CI 58-97%) vs. 0% (95% CI 0-0%) (p = 0.0004). High-dose sequential chemotherapy with initial PBSC transplantation is well tolerated and appears effective in high-risk NHL. Superior results were noted in patients with intermediate grade versus those with small noncleaved or lymphoblastic NHL.

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