Abstract

Fifty patients with intermediate- or high-grade non-Hodgkin's lymphoma (NHL) who had relapsed after a complete remission induced by an Adriamycin-containing chemotherapy regimen participated in this prospective pilot study. The patients ranged in age from 16 to 60 years (median 42 years). All patients received dexamethasone, high-dose cytarabine, and cisplatin (DHAP) for two courses at 3- to 4-week intervals. Patients achieving a partial or complete response were scheduled to receive involved-field radiotherapy and high-dose carmustine, etoposide, cytarabine, and cyclophosphamide (BEAC), followed by autologous bone marrow transplantation (ABMT). Among 48 evaluable patients (ie, 1 was lost to follow-up and 1 had no measurable disease) 7 patients obtained a complete response (CR) and another 21 patients achieved partial response (PR), whereas the remaining 20 patients failed. One responder died of treatment-related toxicity, and six others declined ABMT. The patient with no measurable disease did not progress on DHAP and was submitted to ABMT. Twenty-two patients underwent ABMT [20 with BEAC and 2 with cyclophosphamide plus total body irradiation (TBI)] of whom 2 (9%) died of toxicity and 10 relapsed. One patient was a suicide at 28 months post-ABMT in CCR and 9 are alive disease-free 24 months to 32 months (median 30 months) post- ABMT. The actuarial 2-year event-free survival for patients undergoing transplantation is 40%. This prospective multicenter trial documents the ability of DHAP followed by ABMT to produce durable complete remission in a significant proportion of patients with relapsed aggressive NHL. Forty-four percent of all patients with relapsed lymphoma who entered the study actually underwent ABMT and 20% of the total group are projected to be long-term disease-free survivors.

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