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J Clin Oncol. 1986 Nov;4(11):1628-37.

Treatment of lymphoblastic lymphoma in adults.


Forty-four adult patients with lymphoblastic lymphoma (LBL) were treated according to one of two protocols. Both included (1) induction with cyclophosphamide, doxorubicin, vincristine, prednisone, and L-asparaginase; (2) CNS prophylaxis; and (3) maintenance therapy with methotrexate (MTX) and 6-mercaptopurine. In the second protocol, CNS prophylaxis began earlier than in the first protocol and included cranial irradiation and intrathecal (IT) MTX rather than simultaneous high-dose systemic and IT MTX. The overall response rate was 100% (95% complete). With a 26-month median follow-up, the 1-and 3-year actuarial freedom from relapse (FFR) for the composite patient group was 70% and 56%, respectively. The incidence of CNS relapse was reduced from 31% in the first protocol to 3% in the second protocol (P = .04, Gehan). Patients can be assigned retrospectively to low (n = 19) and high (n = 25) risk prognostic groups, as indicated by a multivariate analysis of pretreatment prognostic factors. High-risk is defined by Ann Arbor stage IV disease with bone marrow or CNS involvement or initial serum lactate dehydrogenase (LDH) concentration of greater than 300 IU/L (normal, less than 200). FFR of low- and high-risk groups at 5 years are 94% and 19%, respectively (P = .0006). Low-risk patients are highly curable using this approach to adult LBL. More intensive treatment for high-risk patients is warranted.

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