The purpose of the current study was to evaluate the activity and toxicity of dexamethasone, high-dose cytarabine, and carboplatin (DAC) combination therapy in children with newly diagnosed large-cell non-Hodgkin lymphoma (NHL) and to estimate the event-free and overall survival rates achieved when DAC is incorporated into a conventional regimen.
From 1991 to 1997, 20 boys and 5 girls aged 4.2 to 17.7 years who had stage III (according to the St. Jude staging system) (n = 21) or stage IV (n = 4) large-cell NHL were treated in this study. DAC therapy was administered at the beginning of the induction phase in 2 sequential cycles and incorporated throughout a continuation phase (modified from the ACOP+ regimen, which features doxorubicin, cyclophosphamide, vincristine, and prednisone) with doxorubicin, cyclophosphamide, vincristine, and dexamethasone. The total duration of treatment was approximately 10 months.
DAC therapy yielded a response in 22 of 25 patients (88%; 95% confidence interval [95% CI], 68%-97%): complete remission in 13 cases (52%), and partial response in 9 (36%). After additional treatment with doxorubicin, cyclophosphamide, vincristine, and dexamethasone, complete remission was attained in 18 patients (72%) and partial remission in 3 (12%). The event-free survival rate (± the standard error [SE]) was 64% ± 9% and the overall survival rate was 80% ± 8% at 5 years.
The results of the current study indicate that the DAC regimen is well tolerated and effective for pediatric patients with large-cell NHL. Cancer 2008. © 2008 American Cancer Society.