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A prospective phase II study of L-asparaginase- CHOP plus radiation in newly diagnosed extranodal NK/T-cell lymphoma, nasal type

Ningjing Lin, Yuqin Song, Wen Zheng, Meifeng Tu, Yan Xie, Xiaopei Wang, Lingyan Ping, Zhitao Ying, Chen Zhang, Lijuan Deng, Weiping Liu and Jun Zhu*

Author Affiliations

Key laboratory of Carcinogenesis and Translational Research (Ministry of Education), Department of Lymphoma, Peking University Cancer Hospital & Institute, No. 52 Fucheng Road, Haidian district, Beijing 100142, China

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Journal of Hematology & Oncology 2013, 6:44  doi:10.1186/1756-8722-6-44

Published: 1 July 2013



To explore the efficacy and safety of L-asparaginase in newly-diagnosed extranodal nature killer (NK)/T –cell lymphoma (ENKTL), we conducted a prospective phase II study of L-asparaginase, cyclophosphamide, vincristine, doxorubicin and dexamethasone (CHOP-L) regimen in combination with radiotherapy.

Patients and methods

Patients with newly diagnosed ENKTL and an ECOG performance status of 0 to 2 were eligible for enrollment. Treatment included 6–8 cycles of CHOP-L (cyclophosphamide, 750 mg/m2 day 1; vincristine, 1.4 mg/m2 day 1 (maximal dose 2 mg), doxorubicin 50 mg/m2 day 1; dexamethasone 10 mg days 1–8; L-asparaginase 6000 u/m2 days 2–8). Radiotherapy was scheduled after 4–6 cycles of CHOP-L regimen, depending on stage and primary anatomic site. The primary endpoint was complete response (CR) rate.


A total of 38 eligible patients were enrolled. The median age was 40.5 years (range, 15 to 71 years). Their clinical characteristics were male to female ratio, 24:14; Ann Arbor stage I, 20; II, 11; III, 3; IV, 4. CR and overall response rates were 81.6% (95% CI, 69.3% to 93.9%) and 84.2%, respectively. With a median follow-up of 25 months, the 2-year overall survival, progression-free survival and disease-free survival rates were 80.1% (95%CI, 73.3% to 86.9%), 81% (95%CI, 74.5% to 87.5%) and 93.6% (95%CI, 89.3% to 97.9%), respectively. The major adverse events were myelosuppression, liver dysfunction, and digestive tract toxicities. Grade 3 to 4 leukopenia and neutropenia were 76.3% and 84.2%, respectively. No treatment-related death was observed.


CHOP-L chemotherapy in combination with radiotherapy is a safe and highly effective treatment for newly diagnosed ENKTL.