Background: Surgical intervention and combined modality treatment including radiation and chemotherapy have been studied widely in patients with high grade gastric B-cell lymphoma, whereas to the authors' knowledge the role of chemotherapy alone in patients with localized disease has not been investigated extensively.
Methods: Twenty-five consecutive patients with primary high grade gastric B-cell lymphoma of localized modified Ann Arbor Stages IE and IIE were studied prospectively at the study institution. Patients age < 75 years (n = 17; age range, 41-75 years) were given a standard regimen comprised of doxorubicin, cyclophosphamide, vincristine, and prednisone (CHOP), whereas patients age > 75 years (n = 8; age range, 82-93 years) were treated at a reduced dose. Restaging was performed after 3 and 6 cycles, followed by every 3 months for the first 2 years, and every 6 months thereafter.
Results: A total of 123 cycles were administered to the study patients, with the median number of 6 cycles per patient (range, 1-9 cycles). At a median follow-up of 24 months (range, 1.5-87+ months), 22 patients were alive without evidence of disease and 3 patients had died (1 patient death was treatment-related). Twenty-four patients who were considered evaluable achieved a complete remission, 21 patients after 3 cycles and the remaining 3 patients after 6 cycles of treatment. Side effects generally were manageable, with only one patient requiring premature discontinuation of treatment due to protracted thrombocytopenia after three courses of therapy, and tolerance was not different between the two age groups. No recurrences were observed at last follow-up.
Conclusions: The authors believe that chemotherapy using the CHOP regimen is highly effective in the treatment of patients with localized primary high grade gastric lymphoma.