High-dose cytosine arabinoside in non-Hodgkin's lymphoma

J Clin Oncol. 1983 Nov;1(11):689-94. doi: 10.1200/JCO.1983.1.11.689.


Thirty-two patients with refractory non-Hodgkin's lymphoma were treated with high-dose cytosine arabinoside (ara-C) given at 2 g/m2 IV over three hours every 12 hours for 4-8 g/m2/course repeated at three to four week intervals. There were eight partial responses (29%) and two minor responses among 28 evaluable patients. The median response duration was 10 weeks (range, 6-33 weeks). The median survival was significantly prolonged in responders compared to nonresponders (28 versus 15 weeks; p = 0.03). Two additional patients treated with 12 g/m2/course died of sepsis and myelosuppression. The dose-limiting toxicity was myelosuppression, which was more pronounced in patients with prior extensive radiation therapy and bone marrow involvement. In vivo measurements of intracellular concentrations of ara-CTP, the active metabolite of ara-C, showed significantly higher values in bone marrows with lymphomatous involvement compared to normal bone marrows (210 versus 95 microM; p = 0.05), probably indicating a preferential formation and retention of ara-CTP in malignant cells compared to normal hemopoietic cells. In addition, higher ara-CTP levels were found in bone marrows that had higher percentages of cells in S phase.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Bone Marrow / drug effects
  • Bone Marrow / metabolism
  • Cytarabine / administration & dosage*
  • Cytarabine / adverse effects
  • Cytarabine / metabolism
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Lymphoma / drug therapy*
  • Lymphoma / metabolism
  • Lymphoma, Follicular / drug therapy
  • Lymphoma, Follicular / metabolism
  • Lymphoma, Large B-Cell, Diffuse / drug therapy
  • Lymphoma, Large B-Cell, Diffuse / metabolism
  • Lymphoma, Non-Hodgkin / drug therapy
  • Lymphoma, Non-Hodgkin / metabolism
  • Male
  • Middle Aged


  • Cytarabine