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Ann Hematol. 2009 Jul;88(7):647-52. doi: 10.1007/s00277-008-0669-3. Epub 2008 Dec 24.

L-asparaginase in the treatment of refractory and relapsed extranodal NK/T-cell lymphoma, nasal type.

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  • 1Department of Medical Oncology, Beijing Cancer Hospital & Institute, the School of Oncology, Peking University, Beijing, PR China.


There is no standard salvage regimen for patients with refractory and relapsed extranodal NK/T-cell lymphoma (NKTCL), nasal type. This study was conduced to evaluate the efficacy of L-asparaginase-based regimen as a salvage regimen, on refractory and relapsed extranodal NKTCL, nasal type. Between March 1996 and March 2008, 45 patients with refractory and relapsed extranodal NKTCL, nasal type, were studied retrospectively. All patients were treated with L-asparaginase-based salvage regimen. Thirty-nine patients also received primary involved-field radiation after L-asparaginase-based chemotherapy. The complete response rate, partial response rate, and overall response rate for the whole group were 55.6%, 26.7%, and 82.2%, respectively. Both of 3-year and 5-year overall survival (OS) rates were 66.9%. The major adverse effects of L-asparaginase were myelosuppression, liver dysfunction, hyperglycemia, and allergic reaction. In general, the side effects could be tolerated. On univariate analysis, age, the stage of disease, and performance status were found to be prognostic factors influencing OS. On multivariate analysis, the stage of disease and age were independent prognostic factors for OS. L-Asparaginase-based regimen was obviously effective for the patients with refractory and relapsed extranodal NKTCL, nasal type.

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