The main objectives of the current study were to evaluate the efficacy and safety of a CEOP-E regimen for patients with aggressive non-Hodgkin's lymphoma (NHL). Fifty-one consecutive patients with newly diagnosed aggressive NHL were enrolled in the study. Median age of patients was 57 (range, 18-75) yr old, and male to female ratio was 1.32:1. Diffuse large B cell lymphoma (68.8%) was the most common histological subtype. Thirty patients (58.8%) had Ann Arbor stage III or IV diseases at diagnosis. One course of chemotherapy consisted of an intravenous combination of cyclophosphamide 750 mg/m2, epirubicin 50 mg/m2, vincristine 2 mg, etoposide 80 mg/m2 on day 1 and oral administration of 100 mg prednisone on days 1 to 5 (CEOP-E). A complete response or unconfirmed complete response was achieved in 31 (63.3%) out of 49 evaluated patients. With a median follow-up of 16.3 months, 26 events including relapse and death were observed. The estimated 2-yr survival rate for all patients and disease free survival rate for patients achieving complete re-sponse was 58.9% and 57.1%, respectively. Episodes of febrile neutropenia occurred in 5 (10.2%) patients. Transient episodes of ECG abnormality (1st degree AV block) were observed in 2 patients. Accordingly, the CEOP-E regimen produced comparable results to those of other regimens, including CHOP, in terms of the response rate and overall survival. The current regimen seemed to minimize the cardiac toxicity due to an accumulated dose of anthracycline in the treatment of aggressive NHL.
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