Practices regarding central nervous system (CNS) prophylaxis and treatment for non-"high-grade" lymphomas are not standardized. We designed a survey to address the CNS surveillance, prophylaxis and treatment (S + P + T) habits of Ontario oncologists, to compare tertiary with community care and gauge interest in a randomized controlled trial (RCT). We mailed 145 questionnaires to oncologists/hematologists registered at the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Ontario between 1980 and 1999. The questionnaire posed questions of S + P + T for a variety of histologies, locations and risk factors. Results showed that 49/77 respondents treated adult NHL, (19 community, 30 tertiary care). Surveillance LP's were commonly done in testicular, orbital, sinus and epidural sites of presentation (76, 69, 71, 80%, respectively), but these were less commonly prophylaxed (45, 33, 29 and 41%). HIV associated NHL received surveillance and prophylaxis by 51 and 33% of respondents. Stage IV disease, increased LDH and extranodal-sites warranted infrequent S + P. IT chemotherapy via LP was the most commonly used form of prophylaxis (74%) or treatment (84%). Twenty percent used systemic agents that cross the blood brain barrier for prophylaxis, and 45% for treatment. A vast heterogeneity of practice within and between tertiary care and community physicians' practices was documented. Ninety percent of physicians indicated willingness to participate in a RCT. In conclusion, CNS surveillance and prophylaxis in non-"high-grade" NHL is highly variable, probably because there are poorly defined risk factors, inconclusive prophylaxis efficacy and the inconvenience/toxicity of therapy. Patients at high risk by International prognostic index criteria are at an increased risk for CNS relapse. A RCT comparing standard chemotherapy with or without CNS prophylaxis in selected patients is needed.
Bortezomib and gemcitabine have each shown activity as single agents in mantle cell lymphoma (MCL), which is incurable. The purpose of this phase II study was to determine the efficacy and safety of the previously unstudied combination of bortezomib and gemcitabine in patients with relapsed or refractory MCL. Patients were eligible if they had relapsed MCL with 1-3 prior therapies. Patients were treated with gemcitabine 1000 mg/m(2) on days 1 and 8 and bortezomib 1.0 mg/m(2) IV on days 1, 4, 8, and 11, on a 21-day schedule. Twenty-six patients were evaluable for toxicity and 25 for response. The overall response rate was 60% and the median progression free survival was 11.4 months. The main adverse effects were hematological, with 40% and 48% of patients experiencing grade 3/4 thrombocytopenia and granulocytopenia, respectively. Bortezomib and gemcitabine is an active combination in relapsed and refractory MCL with clinically meaningful results. It offers a chemotherapy backbone to which other agents, less myelosuppressive, may be added.
The optimal management of acquired immunodeficiency syndrome-related lymphoma (ARL) in the era of combination antiretroviral therapy (cART) is unclear. We administered a survey to determine physician preferences and perceptions in the management of ARL and to assess the variability in treatment in Canada. Of 196 lymphoma-treating physicians, 117 (63%) responded. The majority of respondents (98%) had a positive attitude towards the treatment of ARL. Most physicians (66%) recommended the concomitant use of cART in the care of their patients with ARL, and a majority (86%) recommended CHOP-like regimens (cyclophosphamide, doxorubicin, vincristine, and prednisone) to form the backbone of chemotherapy. The addition of rituximab was preferred by 43% of physicians, while 39% and 18% would either not use rituximab or were unsure of the agent's role, respectively. In logistic regression analysis, use of rituximab was predicted only by location of practice (province); physicians from the province of British Colombia were much more likely to administer rituximab than practitioners from Ontario (odds ratio 41.8; 95% confidence interval 7.44-235.1, p