Oxaliplatin-based chemotherapy (dexamethasone, high-dose cytarabine, and oxaliplatin) ± rituximab is an effective salvage regimen in patients with relapsed or refractory lymphoma




Patients affected by relapsed or primary refractory lymphomas currently have a poor prognosis and no standard salvage treatment options. This study was carried out to assess the efficacy and safety of a dexamethasone, high-dose cytarabine, and oxaliplatin as salvage therapy in those patients, replacing cisplatin with oxaliplatin in the standard dexamethasone, cytarabine, and cisplatin scheme.


Seventy patients with relapsed or refractory aggressive non-Hodgkin or Hodgkin lymphoma were treated from September 2001 to September 2007. The median age of patients was 51 years (range, 19-75 years). Histological subtypes were: diffuse large B-cell lymphoma (n = 47) and Hodgkin lymphoma (n = 23). The overall response rate was 73% (51 of 70), with 30 (43%) complete remissions and 21 (30%) partial remissions. Fifty-two patients were treated with dexamethasone, high-dose cytarabine, and oxaliplatin as second-line chemotherapy. Forty-eight patients were enrolled in an autologous stem cell transplantation program; forty (83%) finally proceeded to high-dose consolidation and autografting.


No grade 3 or 4 nonhematological toxicity was demonstrated; in particular, no renal or neurotoxicity was reported. After a median follow-up period of 21 months (range, 2-87 months), 22 (31%) patients had died. Probabilities of 2-year progression-free survival (PFS) and overall survival (OS) were 44% and 71%, respectively. In the chemosensitive patients, the PFS and OS were 52% and 83%, respectively. The only factor that significantly correlated with better OS was the response to therapy.


This study confirms that dexamethasone, high-dose cytarabine, and oxaliplatin ± rituximab is an effective and feasible outpatient regimen for salvage therapy in patients affected by relapsed or refractory lymphoma. Moreover, the feasibility and efficacy of this scheme as an in vivo chemosensitive test in patients in autotransplantation programs was confirmed. Cancer 2010. © 2010 American Cancer Society.