Combination chemotherapy followed by an immunotoxin (anti-B4-blocked ricin) in patients with indolent lymphoma: Results of a phase II study

Dan L. Longo, Patricia L. Duffey, John G. Gribben, Elaine S. Jaffe, Brendan D. Curti, Barry L. Gause, John E. Janik, Virginia M. Braman, Dixie Esseltine, Wyndham H. Wilson, Dwight Kaufman, Robert E. Wittes, Lee M. Nadler, Walter J. Urba

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40 Scopus citations


The purpose of this article was to evaluate the antitumor effects of a combination chemotherapy program based on ProMACE (prednisone, methotrexate, doxorubicin [Adriamycin], cyclophosphamide, etoposide) followed by a B cell- specific immunotoxin in the treatment of patients with advanced-stage indolent histology non-Hodgkin's lymphomas. We performed a prospective phase II clinical trial in a referral-based patient population. After confirmation of diagnosis and staging evaluation, 44 patients (10 small lymphocytic lymphoma, 27 follicular lymphoma, 7 mantle cell lymphoma; 30 without prior therapy 14 previously treated) received six cycles of ProMACE-CytaBOM (cytarabine, bleomycin, vincristine [Oncovin], mechlorethamine) combination chemotherapy (with etoposide given orally daily for five days) followed by a 7-day continuous infusion of anti-B4-blocked ricin immunotoxin at 30 μg/kg/day given every 14 days for up to six cycles. A complete response was achieved in 25 of 44 patients (57%), 21 from the chemotherapy alone, 3 converted from partial to complete response with the immunotoxin, and 1 patient became a complete responder after a surgical procedure to remove an enlarged spleen that was histologically negative for lymphoma. With a median follow-up of 5 years, 14 of 25 complete responders have relapsed (56%); median remission duration was 2 years, and overall survival was 61%. Forty- two percent of the complete responders have been in continuous remission for more than 4 years. The median number of courses of immunotoxin delivered was two usually because of the development of human anti-ricin antibodies. ProMACE-CytaBOM plus anti-B4-blocked ricin does not produce durable complete remissions in the majority of patents with indolent lymphoma. However, the remissions appear quite durable (> 4 years) in about 40% of the complete responders.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)146-150
Number of pages5
JournalCancer Journal
Issue number3
StatePublished - May 2000

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research


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