Low-Intensity Chemo Regimen Good Against Burkitt's Lymphoma


A new study demonstrates that adult patients with Burkitt's lymphoma experienced very good long-term survival rates when treated with low-intensity chemotherapy regimens.

This is in stark contrast to current treatments for the rare subtype of B-cell non-Hodgkin's lymphoma, which typically involve high-dose chemotherapy, according to a paper in the New England Journal of Medicine.

Treatment receives 'promising results'

The small trial, led by Wyndham H. Wilson M.D. Ph.D., head of the National Cancer Institute's Lymphoma Therapeutics Section, involved 30 patients, median age 33, with previously untreated Burkitt's lymphoma. Depending on their HIV status, patients received one of two variants of EPOCH-R [etoposide, prednisone, vincristine (Oncovin), cyclophosphamide, doxorubicin (Hydrodoxorubicin) and rituximab]. In this regimen the patient undergoes longer exposures to lower concentrations of drugs.

There were 19 HIV-negative patients who received dose-adjusted (DA)-EPOCH-R. The remaining 11 patients received short-course (SC)-EPOCH-RR, which is less intense that DA-EPOCH-R and includes two rituximab doses.

Median follow-up times were 86 and 73 months, respectively. Overall survival rates were 100 percent and 90 percent, respectively.

Said lead author Kieron Dunleavy, M.D.:

These promising results with low-toxicity treatment suggest that this approach may be effective and worth investigating in certain geographic and economically challenged regions where Burkitt lymphoma is highly prevalent as well as in adult populations.

As a consequence of these trial results, a pair of trials have been launched to confirm the efficacy of this chemotherapy regimen in both adult and pediatric patients with Burkitt's lymphoma.

Source: MedicalExpress

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