The treatment of elderly patients with an aggressive non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma has gradually changed over the last decades. The first publications concerning elderly patients with lymphoma emphasized the increased toxicity and poor outcome of this patient group.(1-3) The aim of many subsequent studies has been to decrease toxicity.(4-6) Most of these studies however reported decreased response rates and deterioration of survival if age adapted therapy was used. It also became evident that doxorubicin proved to be a toxic, but essential drug in any regimen prescribed with a curative intention.(7-9) The development of recombinant granulocyte colony-stimulating factor (G-CSF) raised expectations that this growth factor could improve the results of therapy because it would become possible to maintain the dose-intensity of the chemotherapy regimen by inducing rapid hematopoietic recovery.(10) Moreover, a shorter duration of the neutropenic phase could probably reduce the incidence of neutropenic fever, bacterial infections and the number of hospital admissions.(11, 12) In the current thesis the results of a large prospective multicenter clinical trial are reported. This trial was designed to investigate if prophylactic G-CSF administration could improve the poor results of treatment in elderly patients with an aggressive non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. The primary question was whether a higher relative dose-intensity would lead to improved treatment outcome. Secondary endpoints were the quality of life and the cost-effectiveness associated with such treatment. This trial was supported by the Dutch government.

Amgen BV, Breda, Novantis Pharma BV, Arnhem, Roche Nederland BV, Woerden, Schering Nederland BV, Weesp, Zeneus Pharma BV, Eindhoven
Erasmus MC: University Medical Center Rotterdam

Doorduijn, J.K. (2005, October 5). The Treatment of Elderly Patients with Aggressive Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma. Retrieved from