Objectives: The prognosis of old or immunocompromised patients with refractory or relapsing diffuse large-cell lymphoma (DLCL) is very poor as the current standard of salvage therapy with autologous stem cell transplantation (ASCT) is not feasible for most of them. New active regimens with an acceptable toxicity profile are needed. We aim to report the results of a phase II trial of the GEMOX-R regimen in DLCL.
Methods: A total of 32 patients received GEMOX-R regimen in 2-wk intervals if feasible or every 3 wk for a planned six to eight courses.
Results: Median age of the population was 69 yr. Forty-one percent of the patients were primary refractory and 59% after relapsing. At GEMOX-R, 75% of patients had a stage III–IV and an adjusted International Prognostic Index > 1 was observed in 69%. The response rate was 43% with 34% complete response. Neutropenia and thrombopenia grade III–IV were observed in 43% of the patients and neurotoxicity grade III–IV in 7% of cases. Median follow-up for alive patients was 13 months and the median survival was 9.1 months. At 12 months, the overall survival and progression-free survival were 41% and 29%, respectively.
Conclusions: GEMOX-R is a new salvage regimen for DLCL with high activity and relatively safe toxicity profile, which can be offered to elderly patients not candidates of ASCT consolidation. The high efficacy of the regimen in this unfavorable population and also in immunocompromised situations warrant further investigation of this regimen in all salvage situations of this type of lymphomas.