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Blood. 2004 Feb 15;103(4):1222-8. Epub 2003 Oct 23.

Second cancers and late toxicities after treatment of aggressive non-Hodgkin lymphoma with the ACVBP regimen: a GELA cohort study on 2837 patients.

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  • 1Hematology Department, Centre Hospitalier Notre Dame et reine Fabiola, Grand-Rue 3, 6000 Charleroi, Belgium, e-mail:


The survival of patients with aggressive non-Hodgkin lymphoma (NHL) is increasing, but the incidence of secondary cancer and late toxicity is poorly defined for those treated with cyclophosphamide-hydroxydaunomycin/doxorubicin-Oncovin-prednisone (CHOP)-like chemotherapy. From February 1984 to January 1998, 2837 patients with aggressive NHL received the control-arm chemotherapy adriamycin-cyclophosphamide-vindesine-bleomycin-prednisone (ACVBP) in 3 consecutive Groupe d'Etude des Lymphomes de l'Adulte (GELA) studies. With a median follow-up time of 74 months, the 5-year overall and event-free survival rates were 60% and 52%. Two hundred two occurrences of nonneoplastic late toxicity were reported, resulting in a 5.35% cumulative probability of incidence at 7 years. Eighty-one second tumors developed, for which the 7-year cumulative incidence rate was 2.75%; 64 were solid tumors, and 17 were hematologic malignancies. In multivariate analysis, age was the only risk factor for the second development of cancer. Epidemiologic analysis allowed a comparison of this NHL group with the general population. Considering all tumors, no excess of second cancer was observed. In the male population, however, there was an excess of lung cancer (standardized incidence ratio [SIR], 2.45; P <.001) and myelodysplastic syndrome/acute myelocytic leukemia (MDS/AML) (SIR, 5.65; P =.006), and in the female population there was an excess of MDS/AML (SIR, 19.9; P <.001). With a long follow-up, the ACVBP regimen was highly effective for the treatment of aggressive NHL. Increases occurred in secondary MDS/AML and in lung cancer among men.

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