Trofosfamide in the treatment of elderly or frail patients with diffuse large B-cell lymphoma

Hanno M. Witte*, Armin Riecke, Thomas Mayer, Tobias Bartscht, Dirk Rades, Hendrik Lehnert, Hartmut Merz, Sebastian Fetscher, Harald Biersack, Niklas Gebauer

*Corresponding author for this work
2 Citations (Scopus)


Purpose: The introduction of immunochemotherapy has led to a significant improvement in treatment results and prognosis of diffuse large B-cell non-Hodgkins lymphoma (DLBCL) both at initial diagnosis and in relapse. Trofosfamide, an oxazaphosphorine derivative, has been utilized as alternative treatment option for patients with lymphoproliferative diseases unsuitable for conventional chemotherapy agents and protocols because of age, comorbidity, or poor performance score. While data on the activity and safety of single-agent trofosfamide have been published, the potential value of this agent in immunochemotherapy in combination with anti-CD20 antibodies such as rituximab has not been investigated to our knowledge. Methods: Safety and therapeutic effectiveness of trofosfamide given orally at a dose of 50 mg twice daily alone, or in combination with standard-dose rituximab, was investigated in a cohort of elderly and/or highly comorbid patients with histologically confirmed primary or secondary DLBCL. Results: Treatment with trofosfamide in this combination setting was generally well tolerated with no treatment-related deaths and manageable side effects, most of which were WHO class I–II; the most clinically relevant toxicity was cytopenia. 19 of 21 examined patients responded to therapy with 11 of 21 (52.4%) achieving a complete remission (CR). Median overall and progression-free survival (OS and PFS) in the CR-group was 14 and 9 months, respectively. In the subgroup with trofosfamide-based first-line therapy, 7 of 10 (70%) achieved CR and median PFS was not reached. Conclusions: Immunochemotherapy with rituximab and trofosfamide (RT) is safe and effective in elderly and poor-performance patients with DLBCL. Response rates are comparable to most commonly used primary and salvage treatment protocols. The potential value of TR regimen in both first-line and relapsed/refractory DLCBL merits further investigation and is probably underestimated.

Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Cancer Research and Clinical Oncology
Issue number1
Pages (from-to)129-136
Number of pages8
Publication statusPublished - 22.01.2019

Research Areas and Centers

  • Academic Focus: Center for Brain, Behavior and Metabolism (CBBM)


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