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Blood. 2010 Apr 15;115(15):3017-24. doi: 10.1182/blood-2009-11-253039. Epub 2010 Feb 3.

The role of tumor histogenesis, FDG-PET, and short-course EPOCH with dose-dense rituximab (SC-EPOCH-RR) in HIV-associated diffuse large B-cell lymphoma.

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  • 1Center for Cancer Research, National Cancer Institute, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, MD, USA.


This is a phase 2 study to assess the role of tumor histogenesis (subtype), fluorodeoxyglucose positron emission tomography (FDG-PET), and short-course etoposide, prednisone, vincristine, cyclophosphamide, and doxorubicin with dose-dense rituximab (SC-EPOCH-RR) in newly diagnosed HIV-associated CD20(+) diffuse large B-cell lymphoma. Patients received a minimum of 3 and a maximum of 6 cycles with 1 cycle beyond stable radiographic and FDG-PET scans. Overall, 79% of patients received 3 cycles. Combination antiretroviral therapy was suspended before and resumed after therapy. Thirty-three enrolled patients had a median age of 42 years (range, 9-61 years), and 76% had a high-intermediate or high age-adjusted international prognostic index. At 5 years median follow-up, progression-free and overall survival were 84% and 68%, respectively. There were no treatment-related deaths or new opportunistic infections during treatment, and patients had sustained CD4 cell count recovery and HIV viral control after treatment. FDG-PET after 2 cycles had an excellent negative but poor positive predictive value. Tumor histogenesis was the only characteristic associated with lymphoma-specific outcome with 95% of germinal center B-cell (GCB) versus 44% of non-GCB diffuse large B-cell lymphoma (DLBCL) progression-free at 5 years. SC-EPOCH-RR is highly effective and less immunosuppressive with shorter duration therapy compared with standard strategies. However, new therapeutic advances are needed for non-GCB DLBCL, which remains the important cause of lymphoma-specific death. This trial was registered at www.clinicaltrials.gov as NCT000019253.

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