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Ifosfamide, etoposide, cytarabine, and dexamethasone as salvage treatment followed by high-dose cyclophosphamide, melphalan, and etoposide with autologous peripheral blood stem cell transplantation for relapsed or refractory lymphomas

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High-dose chemotherapy (HD-CT) with autologous stem cell transplantation is considered to be the treatment of choice for relapsed high-grade non-Hodgkin's lymphoma (NHL) and Hodgkin's lymphoma (HL) patients, but the optimal treatment has not yet been defined. We evaluated a salvage treatment regimen consisting of conventional cycles with ifosfamide, etoposide, cytarabine, and dexamethasone (IVAD) followed by two cycles of HD-CT consisting of cyclophosphamide, melphalan, and etoposide (CMV) with autologous stem cell support in patients with relapsed or refractory NHL (n = 59) and HL (n = 16). Response to IVAD was complete remission (CR) in 16 patients (21%), partial remission (PR) in 39 patients (52%), stable disease (SD) in 18 patients (24%), and progressive disease (PD) in two patients (2.7%). Of 70 patients treated with HD-CT, 41 patients (59%) showed a CR, 20 patients a PR (29%), eight patients a SD (11%), and one patient a PD (1.4%). The 5-yr overall survival for the entire group of patients was 29%, and for patients with NHL and HL 25%, and 38%, respectively. The respective event-free survival probabilities at 5 yr were 22%, 16%, and 31%. Seven treatment-related deaths due to septicemia (three), cardiac arrhythmia (one), pneumonia (one), pneumonitis (one), and toxic epidermal necrolysis (one) were observed. In multivariate analysis, an International Prognostic Index of ≥2 and resistant disease to first-line chemotherapy were poor independent prognostic factors for the subgroup of patients with NHL. In conclusion, these results indicate that IVAD/CMV is feasible as a salvage therapy for lymphoma patients. This treatment is currently evaluated with the addition of rituximab.
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Keywords: Hodgkin's lymphoma; aggressive non-Hodgkin's lymphoma; high-dose chemotherapy; salvage treatment

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Department of Internal Medicine (Cancer Research), West German Cancer Center 2: Institute of Pathology, University of Duisburg-Essen Medical School, Essen, Germany

Publication date: February 1, 2007

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