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J Clin Oncol. 1994 Apr;12(4):769-78.

Randomized comparison of MACOP-B with CHOP in patients with intermediate-grade non-Hodgkin's lymphoma. The Australian and New Zealand Lymphoma Group.

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Department of Haematology and Medical Oncology, Peter MacCallum Cancer Institute, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia.



To compare complete response rates, time to failure, survival, and toxicity for patients with intermediate-grade non-Hodgkin's lymphoma (NHL) treated with cyclophosphamide, doxorubicin, vincristine, and prednisolone (CHOP) versus those treated with a regimen consisting of methotrexate, doxorubicin, cyclophosphamide, vincristine, prednisolone, and bleomycin (MACOP-B), in a multicenter, randomized controlled trial performed by 22 centers of the Australian and New Zealand Lymphoma Group (ANZLG).


Between October 1986 and June 1991, 304 patients were randomized, of whom 236 were eligible for analysis. Eligibility criteria included diffuse small cleaved-cell, diffuse mixed small- and large-cell, follicular large-cell, diffuse large-cell, and large-cell immunoblastic, stages I bulky or II to IV.


There was no significant difference in complete response rates (51% for MACOP-B v 59% for CHOP), failure-free survival, or overall survival in the two treatment arms. The rate of death of MACOP-B patients relative to CHOP patients was estimated to be 0.91 (P = .64) when stratified by prognostic group. There were no significant differences between the two regimens in any of the prognostic subgroups. Toxicity was significantly more severe with MACOP-B, particularly cutaneous toxicity, stomatitis, and gastrointestinal ulceration. The average relative dose-intensity (RDI) of MACOP-B was 0.91 and of CHOP was 0.90, indicating good dose delivery in this multicenter group setting.


CHOP chemotherapy produced results equivalent to those of MACOP-B in patients with intermediate-grade NHL and with significantly fewer toxic complications. Despite relatively poor results in some patient subgroups, CHOP remains the standard chemotherapy for this disease, against which all new regimens should be compared.

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