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J Clin Oncol. 1985 Jun;3(6):769-75.

Moderate versus aggressive chemotherapy of nodular lymphocytic poorly differentiated lymphoma.


One hundred twenty-eight patients with purely nodular lymphocytic poorly differentiated lymphoma (NLPDL) without any prior therapy, entered on Eastern Cooperative Oncology Group protocol EST 2474, were analyzed for response, progression-free and overall survival. The restaged complete response rates with cyclophosphamide-prednisone (CP) (moderate regimen) of 54% compared favorably with those of the more intensive regimens; cyclophosphamide, vincristine, procarbazine and prednisone (COPP) (56%) and BCNU, cyclophosphamide, vincristine, and prednisone (BCVP) (53%). The toxicity of the regimens decreased from BCVP to COPP to CP. The median survival rate for the entire group was 7.8 years. Estimated progression-free survival at five years by regimen was COPP, 57%; BCVP, 26%; CP, 22% (P = .02). No other prognostic parameter significantly affected progression-free survival. In spite of the better progression-free survival of COPP-treated patients, the overall survival rates with the different induction regimens were similar. Maintenance therapy for patients in complete response at the end of induction therapy with periodic BCVP reinduction did not significantly affect the disease-free or overall survival. Cyclophosphamide-prednisone is a minimally toxic regimen effective in the treatment of NLPDL, but COPP, in view of its acceptable toxicity in this patient population and apparent superiority in providing a longer disease-free state, deserves further testing.

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