Novel oral combination chemotherapy in the treatment of intermediate-grade and high-grade AIDS-related non-Hodgkin's lymphoma

Scot C. Remick, James J. McSharry, Barbara C. Wolf, Christina G. Blanchard, Allison Y. Eastman, Henry Wagner, Enrico Portuese, Timothy Wighton, Danielle Powell, Tillman Pearce, John Horton, John C. Ruckdeschel

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49 Scopus citations


Purpose: To determine the toxicity, response, and survival rate of orally administered combination chemotherapy in patients with AIDS-related intermediateand high-grade non-Hodgkin's lymphoma. Secondary objectives included prospective quality-of-life assessment and quantitation of cell-associated p24 antigen (p24 Ag) by flow cytometry. Patients and Methods: Eighteen patients with biopsy-proven lymphoma were treated with oral chemotherapy consisting of lomustine (CCNU) 100 mg/m2 on day 1, etoposide 200 mg/m2 on days 1 through 3; cyclophosphamide 100 mg/m2 on days 22 through 31, and procarbazine 100 mg/m2 on days 22 through 31 at 6-week intervals. A variety of clinical assessments were performed: prospective quality-of-life assessment using the Functional Living Index-Cancer (FLIC) and Brief Symptom Inventory (BSI) instruments; indirect immunofluorescence with flow cytometry to measure cell-associated p24 antigen; and price of the oral regimen compared with two other intravenous combination chemotherapy regimens. Results: The overall objective response rate using Eastern Cooperative Oncology Group (ECOG) criteria was 61 % (95% confidence interval, 39% to 84%), with seven complete remissions (39%) and four partial remissions (22%). The median survival duration was 7 months, with a range of 11 days to 36 months. The treatment-related mortality rate was 11 %. One patient developed CNS progression. Myelosuppression was the most frequent and severe toxicity encountered. Predictor variables of performance status (PS), prior history of thrush, and CD4 lymphocyte count were found to be of prognostic value. In a separate analysis, scores on the three subscales of the BSI were also found to be predictive of complete response. The price of this regimen is several thousand dollars less than that of other intravenous combination chemotherapy regimens. Conclusion: This regimen is active in patients with AIDS-related non-Hodgkin's lymphoma. Because it is important to design systemic cytotoxic chemotherapy regimens that are cost-effective, considerate of quality-of-life issues, and efficacious in this patient population, this approach should be compared with standard intravenous combination chemotherapy regimens in randomized controlled clinical trials.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1691-1702
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Clinical Oncology
Issue number9
StatePublished - 1993

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research


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