Sequential doxorubicin and topotecan in relapsed/refractory aggressive non-Hodgkin's lymphoma: results of CALGB 59906.
Topoisomerase enzymes are critical components of genomic replication and function to minimize torsional stress on DNA. Sequential administration of a topoisomerase II inhibitor followed by a topoisomerase I inhibitor is potentially synergistic due to increased target enzyme levels. Patients with relapsed or refractory aggressive non-Hodgkin's lymphomas (NHL) were eligible for this phase II study of doxorubicin 25 mg/m2 intravenous (IV) on day 1 and topotecan 1.75 mg/m2/day IV on days 3 - 5, every 21 days. The trial objectives included the overall response rate, progression-free survival, and toxicity. Twenty-six patients were enrolled and 25 patients are assessable for toxicity and response. The median age was 58 (range 23 - 74) years. The patients had received a median of two (range one to five) prior regimens, including five patients with a prior stem cell transplant. Five patients (20%, 95% confidence interval 0.07, 0.42) responded with two (8%) complete remissions and three (12%) partial remissions; an additional four (16%) patients had stable disease. Both patients achieving a complete remission had Burkitt's lymphoma. There were no treatment-related deaths. In conclusion, the combination of doxorubicin and topotecan is well tolerated and has modest activity in relapsed/refractory NHL, with occasional patients having a prolonged remission. The activity in Burkitt's lymphoma should be investigated further.
Smith, SM; Johnson, JL; Niedzwiecki, D; Eder, JP; Canellos, G; Cheson, BD; Bartlett, NL; Cancer and Leukemia Group B,
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