Successful treatment strategy for Ki-1 anaplastic large-cell lymphoma of childhood: a prospective analysis of 62 patients enrolled in three consecutive Berlin-Frankfurt-Munster group studies

J Clin Oncol. 1994 May;12(5):899-908. doi: 10.1200/JCO.1994.12.5.899.


Purpose: To prove prospectively the efficacy of a short-pulse chemotherapy for treatment of Ki-1 anaplastic large-cell lymphoma (ALCL) of childhood.

Patients and methods: From October 1983 to December 1992, 62 patients (median age, 9.7 years) with newly diagnosed Ki-1 ALCL were enrolled onto Non-Hodgkin's Lymphoma-Berlin-Frankfurt-Munster (NHL-BFM) studies 83, 86, and 90. The most frequent immunophenotype was T cell. Ki-1 ALCL differed from other subsets of NHL of childhood by the more frequent involvement of bone, soft tissue, and skin, and by the lack of bone marrow (BM) disease. A 5-day prephase course (prednisone/cyclophosphamide) was followed by two different 5-day courses of chemotherapy: course A consisted of dexamethasone, methotrexate (MTX) 0.5 g/m2 (24-hour infusion), intrathecal chemotherapy, ifosfamide, cytarabine (Ara-C), and etoposide (VP-16); course B consisted of cyclophosphamide and doxorubicin instead of ifosfamide, and Ara-C/VP-16, respectively. Treatment was stratified into three branches. Branch 1 (stage I and stage II resected) received three courses; branch 2 (stage II not resected, stage III), six courses; and branch 3 (stage IV), six intensified courses containing MTX 5 g/m2, and Ara-C 2 g/m2. Local radiotherapy was not performed.

Results: Four patients failed to enter remission, and one died of infection. Seven patients relapsed within 9 months after diagnosis; two patients had isolated local relapses, but BM and CNS were never involved. Fifty patients have been in first continuous complete remission (CR) for 0.6 to 9.7 years (median, 2.5), and 56 are alive. The probabilities for survival and event-free survival (EFS) at 9 years are 83% +/- 7% (SE) and 81% +/- 5%. Skin involvement was the only negative prognostic parameter.

Conclusion: Short-pulse chemotherapy over 2 to 5 months without local therapy modalities is effective in the treatment of Ki-1 ALCL.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Multicenter Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Antineoplastic Combined Chemotherapy Protocols / administration & dosage
  • Antineoplastic Combined Chemotherapy Protocols / therapeutic use*
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Drug Administration Schedule
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Immunophenotyping
  • Infant
  • Lymphoma, Large-Cell, Anaplastic / drug therapy*
  • Lymphoma, Large-Cell, Anaplastic / pathology
  • Lymphoma, Large-Cell, Anaplastic / physiopathology
  • Male
  • Neoplasm Staging
  • Prospective Studies
  • Remission Induction
  • Survival Analysis