Efficacy of Standard Dose R-CHOP Alternating With R-HDAC Followed by Autologous Hematopoietic Cell Transplantation as Initial Therapy of Mantle Cell Lymphoma, a Single-Institution Experience

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Young fit patients with mantle cell lymphoma (MCL) are commonly treated with induction chemotherapy followed by high-dose chemotherapy and autologous hematopoietic cell transplantation (AHCT). Induction regimens with modifications of R-CHOP (rituximab, cyclophosphamide, doxorubicin, vincristine, and prednisone) and/or incorporation of high-dose cytarabine (HDAC) appear more effective than R-CHOP alone.

Patients and Methods

We adopted a modification of the Nordic protocol using standard, rather than higher dose R-CHOP, alternating with HDAC (rituximab plus HDAC), for 3 cycles each or, for patients already treated with R-CHOP alone before referral for AHCT, an additional 2 cycles of rituximab plus HDAC. We herein report our experience with 28 patients treated with this regimen who proceeded to AHCT, and compare their outcomes with patients treated with either standard-dose R-CHOP (n = 38) or R-HCVAD/MA (cyclophosphamide, vincristine, doxorubicin, dexamethasone alternating with methotrexate, and cytarabine; n = 21), before AHCT.


With a median follow-up duration of 26 months, our data show that this modification of the Nordic regimen is a highly effective pre-AHCT first-line therapy for MCL (3-year progression-free and overall survival rates of 69% and 75%, respectively).


By using a less intense induction, this regimen can serve as a platform for combined use of novel agents, with less risk of additive toxicity.


In a retrospective study of 87 patients with mantle cell lymphoma treated with 3 different induction regimens, we show that a modification of the Nordic regimen in which a standard, rather than dose-intense, R-CHOP (rituximab, cyclophosphamide, doxorubicin, vincristine, and prednisone) alternating with high-dose cytarabine is a highly effective preautologous hematopoietic cell transplantation therapy.

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