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J Clin Oncol. 1991 Jan;9(1):123-32.

High survival rate in advanced-stage B-cell lymphomas and leukemias without CNS involvement with a short intensive polychemotherapy: results from the French Pediatric Oncology Society of a randomized trial of 216 children.

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  • 1Department of Pediatrics, Institut Gustave-Roussy, Villejuif, France.


From April 1984 to December 1987, the French Pediatric Oncology Society (SFOP) organized a randomized trial for advanced-stage B-cell lymphoma without CNS involvement to study the possibility of reducing the length of treatment to 4 months. After receiving the same three intensive six-drug induction courses based on high-dose fractionated cyclophosphamide, high-dose methotrexate (HD MTX), and cytarabine in continuous infusion, patients were evaluated for remission. Those who achieved complete remission (CR) were randomized between a long arm (five additional courses with two additional drugs; 16 weeks of treatment) and a short arm (two additional courses; 5 weeks). For patients in partial remission (PR), intensification of treatment was indicated. Two hundred sixteen patients were registered: 15 stage II nasopharyngeal and extensive facial tumors, 167 stage III, and 34 stage IV, 20 of the latter having more than 25% blast cells in bone marrow. The primary sites of involvement were abdomen in 172, head and neck in 30, thorax in two, and other sites in 12. One hundred sixty-seven patients are alive in first CR with a minimum follow-up of 18 months; four are lost to follow-up. Eight patients died from initial treatment failure, 14 died from toxicity or deaths unrelated to tumor or treatment, and 27 relapsed. The event-free survival (EFS), with a median follow-up of 38 months, is 78% (SE 3) for all the patients, 73% (SE 11) for the stage II patients, 80% (SE 3) for the stage III patients, and 68% (SE 8) for the stage IV and acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) patients. One hundred sixty-six patients were randomized: 82 in the short arm and 84 in the long arm. EFS is, respectively, 89% and 87%. Statistical analysis confirms equivalence of both treatment arms with regard to EFS. Moreover, morbidity was lower in the short arm. This study confirms the high survival rate obtained in the previous LMB 0281 study without radiotherapy or debulking surgery and demonstrates the effectiveness of short treatment.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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