Chemotherapy for non-Hodgkin lymphoma in the hemodialysis patient: A comprehensive review

Cancer Sci. 2021 Jul;112(7):2607-2624. doi: 10.1111/cas.14933. Epub 2021 Jun 11.


Chemotherapy for non-Hodgkin lymphoma (NHL) in the hemodialysis (HD) patient is a challenging situation. Because many drugs are predominantly eliminated by the kidneys, chemotherapy in the HD patient requires special considerations concerning dose adjustments to avoid overdose and toxicities. Conversely, some drugs are removed by HD and may expose the patient to undertreatment, therefore the timing of drug administration in relation to HD sessions must be carefully planned. Also, the metabolites of some drugs show different toxicities and dialysability as compared with the parent drug, therefore this must also be catered for. However, the pharmacokinetics of many chemotherapeutics and their metabolites in HD patients are unknown, and the fact that NHL patients are often treated with distinct multiagent chemotherapy regimens makes the situation more complicated. In a realm where uncertainty prevails, case reports and case series reporting on actual treatment and outcomes are extremely valuable and can aid physicians in decision making from drug selection to dosing. We carried out an exhaustive review of the literature and adopted 48 manuscripts consisting of 66 HD patients undergoing 71 chemotherapy regimens for NHL, summarized the data, and provide recommendations concerning dose adjustments and timing of administration for individual chemotherapeutics where possible. The chemotherapy regimens studied in this review include, but are not limited to, rituximab, cyclophosphamide + vincristine + prednisolone (CVP) and cyclophosphamide + doxorubicin + vincristine + prednisolone (CHOP)-like regimens, chlorambucil, ibrutinib, bendamustine, methotrexate, platinum compounds, cytarabine, gemcitabine, etoposide, ifosfamide, melphalan, busulfan, fludarabine, mogamulizumab, brentuximab vedotin, and 90 Y-ibritumomab tiuxetan.

Keywords: DLBCL; ESRD; R-CHOP; end-stage renal disease; renal replacement therapy.

Publication types

  • Systematic Review

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Antineoplastic Agents / administration & dosage*
  • Antineoplastic Agents / adverse effects
  • Antineoplastic Agents / metabolism
  • Antineoplastic Combined Chemotherapy Protocols / administration & dosage*
  • Antineoplastic Combined Chemotherapy Protocols / adverse effects
  • Antineoplastic Combined Chemotherapy Protocols / metabolism
  • Child
  • Cyclophosphamide / administration & dosage
  • Cyclophosphamide / metabolism
  • Doxorubicin / administration & dosage
  • Doxorubicin / metabolism
  • Drug Administration Schedule
  • Female
  • Hematopoietic Stem Cell Transplantation
  • Humans
  • Kidney / metabolism
  • Lymphoma, Non-Hodgkin / drug therapy*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Prednisone / administration & dosage
  • Prednisone / metabolism
  • Renal Dialysis*
  • Rituximab / administration & dosage
  • Rituximab / metabolism
  • Vincristine / administration & dosage
  • Vincristine / metabolism
  • Young Adult


  • Antineoplastic Agents
  • R-CHOP protocol
  • Rituximab
  • Vincristine
  • Doxorubicin
  • Cyclophosphamide
  • Prednisone

Supplementary concepts

  • CHOP protocol
  • COP protocol 2