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Blood. 1981 Sep;58(3):592-8.

The treatment of advanced stage favorable histology non-Hodgkin's lymphoma: a preliminary report of a randomized trial comparing single agent chemotherapy, combination chemotherapy, and whole body irradiation.


Between 1975 and 1978, 51 patients with favorable histology non-Hodgkin's lymphomas, pathologic stage III-IV, were treated prospectively on a randomized treatment protocol. Treatment options were single alkylating agent chemotherapy, combination chemotherapy with cyclophosphamide, vincristine, and prednisone (CVP), or fractionated whole body irradiation followed by low dose involved field irradiation. The median follow-up interval in this group of patients is not 41 mo. Actuarial survival is excellent, 84% at 4 yr for the entire group, with similar survival observed for each of the three treatment options. Initial complete remission rates (64%, 88%, and 71%) were not significantly different in the three treatment arms. Frequent relapse after initial remission induction was noted, however, with a freedom from relapse at 4 yr of only 25%. The toxicities of the three therapies were acceptable. Acute complications of therapy were most numerous in the group of patients treated with CVP; however, long-term hematologic depression was most commonly observed in patients treated with whole body irradiation. In general, hematologic complications were more frequent among patients who had marrow involvement and intact spleens at the time of initial therapy. The relationship of this study to other clinical trials in the management of patients with advanced stage favorable histology lymphomas and its implications for future clinical trials are discussed.

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