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Fludarabine-based versus CHOP-like regimens with or without rituximab in patients with previously untreated indolent lymphoma: a retrospective analysis of safety and efficacy

Authors Xu X, Yan B, Wang Z, Yu Y, Wu X, Zhang Y

Received 8 May 2013

Accepted for publication 5 August 2013

Published 8 October 2013 Volume 2013:6 Pages 1385—1392


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single anonymous peer review

Peer reviewer comments 3

Xiao-xiao Xu,1 Bei Yan,2 Zhen-xing Wang,3 Yong Yu,1 Xiao-xiong Wu,2 Yi-zhuo Zhang1

1Department of Hematology, Tianjin Medical University Cancer Institute and Hospital, Tianjin Key Laboratory of Cancer Prevention and Therapy, Tianjin, 2Department of Hematology, First Affiliated Hospital of Chinese People's Liberation Army General Hospital, Beijing, 3Department of Stomach Oncology, TianJin Medical University Cancer Institute and Hospital, Key Laboratory of Cancer Prevention and Therapy, Tianjin, People's Republic of China

Abstract: Fludarabine-based regimens and CHOP (doxorubicin, cyclophosphamide, vincristine, prednisone)-like regimens with or without rituximab are the most common treatment modalities for indolent lymphoma. However, there is no clear evidence to date about which chemotherapy regimen should be the proper initial treatment of indolent lymphoma. More recently, the use of fludarabine has raised concerns due to its high number of toxicities, especially hematological toxicity and infectious complications. The present study aimed to retrospectively evaluate both the efficacy and the potential toxicities of the two main regimens (fludarabine-based and CHOP-like regimens) in patients with previously untreated indolent lymphoma. Among a total of 107 patients assessed, 54 patients received fludarabine-based regimens (FLU arm) and 53 received CHOP or CHOPE (doxorubicin, cyclophosphamide, vincristine, prednisone, or plus etoposide) regimens (CHOP arm). The results demonstrated that fludarabine-based regimens could induce significantly improved progression-free survival (PFS) compared with CHOP-like regimens. However, the FLU arm showed overall survival, complete response, and overall response rates similar to those of the CHOP arm. Grade 3–4 neutropenia occurred in 42.6% of the FLU arm and 7.5% of the CHOP arm (P < 0.000). Moreover, the FLU arm also had a higher occurrence of infection than the CHOP arm (27.8% vs 8.5%; P = 0.034). Multi-factor regression of infection revealed that only age (>60 years) and presentation of grade 3–4 myelosuppression were the independent factors to infection, and the FLU arm had significantly higher myelosuppression. In conclusion, the present study revealed that the use of fludarabine-based regimens could induce high rates of myelosuppression over CHOP-like regimens, in spite of significant increases in PFS.

Keywords: indolent lymphoma, toxicity, fludarabine, CHOP, infection

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