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Keywords:

  • extranodal natural killer/T-cell lymphoma;
  • chemotherapy;
  • LVP (L-asparaginase, vincristine, prednisone);
  • radiotherapy;
  • outcome

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Extranodal natural killer/T-cell lymphoma (ENKTL), nasal-type, is a distinct entity of lymphoid tissue. ENKTL is sensitive to radiotherapy (RT), but the prognosis is poorer than for other types of early lymphoma. The treatment schedule is controversial.

METHODS:

A phase 2 study was conducted of “sandwich” protocols, with earlier RT after an initial 2 to 3 cycles of LVP (L-asparaginase, vincristine, and prednisone), followed by further “consolidation” cycles. Patients aged 18 years and older who had previously untreated ENKTL and localized lesions in the upper aerodigestive tract were enrolled. The primary endpoints were objective response rate and complete remission rate. The secondary endpoints were 2-year overall survival, 2-year progression-free survival, and toxicity. This study is registered with www.Chictr.org, number ChicTR-TNC-00000394, and is ongoing for long-term follow-up.

RESULTS:

Twenty-six patients completed total therapy, which resulted in 88.5% response that included 21 patients (80.8%) with complete response (CR) and 2 patients (7.7%) with partial response. Three (11.5%) of 26 patients progressed during therapy. With a median follow-up of 27 months (range, 4-35 months), the 2-year overall survival was 88.5%, and the 2-year progression-free survival was 80.6%. Patients with CR had better prognosis than patients without CR. Only 2 patients (7.7%) experienced grade 3 leukocytopenia. No grade 4 toxicity or treatment-related deaths were observed.

CONCLUSIONS:

The research showed that the “sandwich” protocol of LVP combined with RT was a safe and effective treatment for localized nasal natural killer/T-cell lymphoma, and the results warrant further investigation into this protocol. Cancer 2011. © 2011 American Cancer Society.