Purpose: Diffuse and nodular forms of mantle-cell lymphoma (MCL) are consistently associated with poor prognosis. In an effort to improve the outcome, we adopted a treatment plan that consisted of four courses of fractionated cyclophosphamide (CY) 1,800 mg/m2 administered with doxorubicin (DOX), vincristine (VCR), and dexamethasone (Hyper-CVAD) that alternated with high-dose methotrexate (MTX) and cytarabine (Ara-C). After four courses, patients were consolidated with high-dose CY, total-body irradiation, and autologous or allogeneic blood or marrow stem-cell transplantation.
Patients and methods: Forty-five patients were enrolled; 25 patients were previously untreated, 43 patients had Ann Arbor stage IV disease, and 42 patients had marrow involvement. Forty-one patients had diffuse histology, two patients had nodular, and two patients had blastic variants.
Results: Hyper-CVAD/MTX-Ara-C induced a response rate of 93.5% (complete response [CR], 38%; partial response [PR], 55.5%) after four cycles of pretransplantation induction chemotherapy. All patients who went on to undergo transplantation achieved CRs. For the 25 previously untreated patients, the overall survival (OS) and event-free survival (EFS) rates at 3 years were 92% (95% confidence interval [CI], 80 to 100) and 72% (95% CI, 45 to 98) compared with 25% (95% CI, 12 to 62; P = .005) and 17% (95% CI, 10 to 43; P = .007), respectively, for the previously treated patients. When compared with a historic control group who received a CY, DOX, VCR, and prednisone (CHOP)-like regimen, untreated patients in the study had a 3-year EFS rate of 72% versus 28% (P = .0001) and a better OS rate (92% v 56%; P = .05). Treatment-related death occurred in five patients: all were previously treated and two received allogeneic transplants.
Conclusion: The Hyper-CVAD/MTX-Ara-C program followed by stem-cell transplantation is a promising new therapy for previously untreated patients with MCL.