Extranodal natural killer/T-cell lymphoma, nasal type (ENKTL) is a distinct subtype of non-Hodgkin lymphoma in which the upper aerodigestive tract is the most commonly involved site. To date, optimal treatment strategies and prognosis for patients with ENKTL have not been fully defined.
This prospective study was conducted to evaluate the efficacy and safety profiles of first-line combined gemcitabine, oxaliplatin, and L-asparaginase (GELOX) followed by involved-field radiation therapy for patients with stage IE/IIE ENKTL. The primary endpoints were the complete response rate, the objective response rate, and toxicities. Secondary endpoints were overall survival and progression-free survival.
Twenty-seven patients with newly diagnosed ENKTL were enrolled and completed the entire course of treatment. At the end of treatment, the overall response rate was 96.3%, including 20 patients (74.1%) who attained a complete response and 6 patients (22.2%) who attained a partial response. No patients developed disease progression during therapy. Grade 1 and 2 toxicities were frequent during GELOX, but grade 3 and 4 toxicities were few, and no treatment-related deaths occurred. At a median follow-up of 27.37 months, 7 patients (25.9%) experienced disease progression, and 4 of those patients died of disease. The rates of 2-year overall and progression-free survival were both 86%, and patients who attained a complete response at the end of treatment had significantly longer progression-free survival (P = .012) and overall survival (P = .021) than patients who did not attain a complete response.
The current results indicated that GELOX followed by involved-field radiation therapy can be an effective and feasible treatment strategy for patients with stage IE/IIE ENKTL of the upper aerodigestive tract. These results will require further investigation in larger prospective trials. Cancer 2013. © 2012 American Cancer Society.