Purpose: To conduct a systematic review assessing chemotherapeutic regimens in patients at least 60 years of age with previously untreated, advanced-stage, aggressive-histology non-Hodgkin lymphoma.
Data Sources: Computerized databases were searched for reports from 1966 to April 2000. Relevant journals, textbooks, and reference lists of published articles were hand searched. Abstract reports were not considered.
Study Selection: Randomized trials comparing different chemotherapy regimens were selected. Two independent assessors, who were blinded to authors, institution, and results of the report, reviewed the retrieved citations.
Data Extraction: One author abstracted data on patient characteristics, study quality score, survival, disease response and control, toxicity, and quality of life; pooling was not done because of study heterogeneity.
Data Synthesis: 12 randomized trials that compared chemotherapeutic regimens were reviewed. Progression-free and overall survival were improved when anthracycline-containing regimens, such as CHOP (cyclophosphamide, doxorubicin, vincristine, and prednisone) or CTVP (cyclophosphamide, pirarubicin, vincristine, and prednisone), were compared with other regimens.
Conclusions: For treatment of older patients with advanced-stage, aggressive-histology lymphoma who do not have significant comorbid illnesses, an anthracycline-containing regimen, such as CHOP, given in standard doses and schedule, provides for superior outcomes compared with other regimens.