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Diffuse Aggressive Lymphomas: Increased Survival After Alternating Flexible Sequences of ProMACE and MOPP Chemotherapy

RICHARD I. FISHER, M.D.; VINCENT T. DeVITA Jr., M.D.; SUSAN M. HUBBARD, R.N.; DAN L. LONGO, M.D.; ROBERT WESLEY, Ph.D.; BRUCE A. CHABNER, M.D.; and ROBERT C. YOUNG, M.D.
[+] Article and Author Information

▸Requests for reprints should be addressed to Richard I. Fisher, M.D.; Medicine Branch 10/12N226, National Cancer Institute; Bethesda, MD 20205.


Bethesda, Maryland


Ann Intern Med. 1983;98(3):304-309. doi:10.7326/0003-4819-98-3-304
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A new treatment program was developed in an attempt to increase the complete remission rate and survival of previously untreated patients with advanced stages of diffuse aggressive lymphomas. A flexible number of cycles of ProMACE chemotherapy (prednisone, methotrexate, doxorubicin, cyclophosphamide, and epipodophyllotoxin VP-16) was alternated with a flexible number of cycles of MOPP chemotherapy (mechlorethamine, vincristine sulfate, procarbazine, and prednisone), and finally late intensification with ProMACE therapy was given. The duration of each phase of treatment was determined by the patient's rate of tumor response. Complete remissions were achieved in 55 of 74 patients (74%) with a median duration of follow-up exceeding 2½ years. Only ten of the complete responders (18%) have had relapse. The doselimiting toxicity is myelosuppression, and eight patients (10%) died from sepsis. Median survival for all patients has not been reached but is predicted to exceed 4 years with 65% of patients alive at 4 years. Previously we achieved a 46% complete remission rate with 38% of all patients alive at 4 years; relapse-free survival beyond 2 years was tantamount to cure. Therefore, ProMACE-MOPP chemotherapy represents a substantial improvement in treating patients with diffuse aggressive lymphomas.

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