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Br J Cancer. 2000 Apr;82(8):1396-402.

Improved outcome in children with advanced stage B-cell non-Hodgkin's lymphoma (B-NHL): results of the United Kingdom Children Cancer Study Group (UKCCSG) 9002 protocol.

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  • 1Department of Paediatric Oncology, The Royal Marsden Hospital NHS Trust, Sutton, Surrey, UK.


From July 1990 to March 1996, 112 children with stage III or IV B-cell non-Hodgkin's lymphoma (B-NHL) with up to 70% FAB L3-type blasts (n = 42) in the bone marrow without central nervous system (CNS) disease were treated on the United Kingdom Children Cancer Study Group (UKCCSG) 9002 protocol (identical to the French LMB 84). The median age was 8.3 years. There were 81 boys and 31 girls. According to the extent of the primary disease, patients were sub-staged into three groups: IIIA with unresectable abdominal tumour (n = 39); IIIB with abdominal multiorgan involvement (n = 57) and IIIX with extra-abdominal primary lymphoma often presenting as pleural effusion (n = 16). Univariate and multivariate analyses were carried out to evaluate the prognostic significance of lactate dehydrogenase (LDH) level at diagnosis, the sub-stage and the time to achieve complete remission (CR). With a median follow up of 48 months (range 12-92), the overall and event free survival (EFS) is 87% (95% confidence interval (CI) 79.2-92.1 %) and 83.7% (95% CI 76.3-89.2%) respectively. Six patients (5.4%) never achieved CR, of whom one is alive following high-dose therapy. Eight patients (7.1%) relapsed after achieving CR, three are alive after second-line therapy. There were three early toxic deaths (2.7%), mainly from infection, and one late death from a second cancer. There was no significant difference in EFS according to LDH level at diagnosis, the sub-stage or the time to CR. This study confirms the overall good prognosis and low rate of toxic deaths in patients with advanced B-NHL treated with this intensive regimen. No significant difference in EFS according to the sub-stage, the time to achieve CR or LDH level at diagnosis making it difficult to identify a group that should not receive intensive therapy.

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