Phase II study of a high-dose ifosfamide-based chemotherapy regimen with growth factor rescue in recurrent aggressive NHL. High response rates and limited toxicity, but limited impact on long-term survival
Granulocyte Colony-Stimulating Factor
The purpose of the study was to evaluate in patients with recurrent intermediate-grade NHL, the tolerance to and efficacy of an intensive salvage regimen consisting of high doses of ifosfamide, etoposide and mitoxantrone with G-CSF support, followed by autologous stem cell transplantation and to identify prognostic factors for survival in patients with recurrent aggressive lymphoma. Patients with recurrent intermediate-grade NHL under the age of 60 years were eligible. Induction consisted of ifosfamide 10 g/m(2) and etoposide 900 mg/m(2) with G-CSF 5 microg/kg twice a day. Upon recovery, patients underwent stem cell apheresis. Patients achieving complete remission (CR) underwent autologous stem cell transplantation using BEAM conditioning. Those with partial remission (PR) received treatment with ifosfamide 10 g/m(2), mitoxantrone 20 mg/m(2) and G-CSF 5 microg/kg. Those with CR received BEAM, those with PR received cyclophosphamide 4.5 g/m(2), etoposide 1200 mg/m(2) and cisplatin 135 mg/m(2) with stem cell rescue followed by BEAM. Antibiotic prophylaxis was given with all treatment cycles. The results were compared with those obtained in a prior study that used MINE-ESHAP salvage. Forty-four patients with recurrent intermediate-grade NHL were enrolled between March 1994 and September 1996. Median age was 50 years (24-61). Eleven patients had transformed lymphoma and seven had a T cell phenotype. Response rate to the high-dose ifosfamide regimen was 77% +/- 12% after two cycles and the complete response rate was 41% +/- 14%. Myelosuppression was profound but short. Median nadir ANC was 0 and the median duration of ANC <0.5 x 10(9)/l was 6 days (range 3-12). No severe infections occurred; 55% of the patients required blood transfusion and 42% required platelet transfusions. Myelosuppression and transfusion requirements were similar after the first and second cycles. Thirty-five of the 44 patients proceeded to autologous stem cell transplantation and one transplant-related death occurred. With a median follow-up of 52 months, progression-free survival at 2 years is 38% +/- 14% and survival is 52% +/- 15%. Data from these 44 patients were pooled with data on 53 patients who had received salvage treatment with MINE-ESHAP, for a multivariate analysis of prognostic factors. In multivariate analysis, serum LDH was strongly associated with survival. The use of a more intensive salvage regimen, did not result in a significant increase in long-term outcome, despite a high response rate. In conclusion, duration of treatment, response rates, treatment-related mortality and survival compare favorably with previous salvage regimens, but recurrence remains a major problem. Long-term survival in recurrent large cell lymphoma is influenced more by disease characteristics than by the type of salvage regimen used.