Large Trial Shows High Success Rate Against Burkitt Lymphoma

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This largest ever prospective trial for adult patients with Burkitt lymphoma/leukemia demonstrates a rigorous chemo-immunotherapy regiman can be effective against this aggressive cancer.

The trial enrolled 363 patients aged 16 to 85 (median age, 42) between 2002 and 2011.

Treatment consisted of 6 five-day cycles of chemotherapy that included the following (although patients over 55 received a reduced regimen):

  • High-dose methotrexate
  • High-dose cytosine arabinoside
  • Cyclophosphamide
  • Etoposide
  • Ifosphamide
  • Corticosteroids
  • Triple intrathecal therapy
  • Rituximab

Results showed that the complete remission rate was 88 percent, or 319 out of 363 patients.

The overall survival (OS) rate at five years was 80 percent, although among different age groups it differed quite a bit:

  • Adolescents between 15-25 yrs: 90 percent
  • Adults between 26-55 yrs: 84 percent
  • Elderly patients 55 yrs and older: 62 percent

Researchers concluded that "The high cure rate in this prospective trial with a substantial number of participating hospitals demonstrates the efficacy and feasibility of chemoimmunotherapy, also in elderly patients."

Source: Blood

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