Objective: This multicenter phase III study compared the MEMID regimen (mitoxantrone, VP16, methylglyoxal, ifosfamide and dexamethasone) with CEOP, a CHOP-like regimen (cyclophosphamide, epirubicin, vincristine and prednisone), in elderly patients (≧65 years) with aggressive non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma (NHL). Methods: One hundred and forty-nine patients were eligible, 72 in the MEMID arm and 77 in the CEOP arm. The primary endpoint was to compare overall survival (OS) between groups, and secondary endpoints were event-free survival (EFS), response rate and toxicity. Results: Neutropenia (p < 10–5), anemia (p < 10–5) and thrombocytopenia (p = 0.0006) were significantly more frequent in patients who received MEMID. We observed an objective response rate of 55.5% in the MEMID arm and 64.9% in the CEOP arm (p = 0.24). The median OS and EFS were 15.4 and 8.5 months in the MEMID arm, and 20.3 and 10.5 months in the CEOP arm (p = 0.59 and 0.47), respectively. The median EFS was 15.4 months in the MEMID arm and 20.3 months in the CEOP arm (p = 0.59). Conclusion: The increased toxicity without survival benefit confirms the superiority of CHOP and CHOP-like regimens for elderly patient with aggressive NHL.

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