Treatment of Burkitt's/Burkitt-like lymphoma in adolescents and adults: a 20-year experience from the Norwegian Radium Hospital with the use of three successive regimens

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Abstract

Background

Burkitt's/Burkitt-like lymphoma (BL/BLL) are highly aggressive lymphomas mainly affecting children and young adults. We report the results in adolescent and adult patients with the use of three successive regimens.

Patients and methods

Forty-nine patients aged 15–70 years admitted to the Norwegian Radium Hospital in the period 1982–2001 with a diagnosis of BL/BLL on histological review and who were given chemotherapy with curative intent are included in this analysis. Up to 1987 patients were given doxorubicin-based chemotherapy supplemented with intravenous and intrathecal methotrexate (MmCHOP). From 1987 to 1994, patients who obtained complete remission upon this regimen were consolidated with high-dose therapy with stem-cell support (MmCHOP * HDT). In 1995 we introduced as frontline therapy the German Berlin–Frankfurt–Munster (BFM) regimen.

Results

By intention to treat analyses, the progression-free survival rates for patients who received MmCHOP (n=13), MmCHOP * HDT (n=17) or BFM therapy (n=19) are 30.8%, 70.6% and 73.7%, respectively. In the groups of patients who received either the BFM regimen or MmCHOP * HDT, all patients who obtained complete remission upon induction therapy are continuously disease free. There was no treatment-related death.

Conclusions

BL/BLL in adolescents and adults can successfully be treated with 5-day blocks of intensified chemotherapy such as the BFM regimen or CHOP/methotrexate-based chemotherapy consolidated with high-dose therapy. Using the BFM regimen, continuous remissions are obtained without additional myeloablative chemotherapy.

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