A less toxic frontline therapy for adults with Burkitt lymphoma

2020

Challenge

Burkitt lymphoma is an aggressive cancer that can be treated effectively with intensive chemotherapy. Unfortunately, the current treatment is highly toxic, which means it is often not an option for older patients or those with serious health conditions, including HIV.

Advance

IRP senior investigator Wyndham Wilson, M.D., Ph.D., led a multi-center clinical trial that confirmed the effectiveness of a less toxic chemotherapy regimen for Burkitt lymphoma that his team developed. The researchers were able to successfully treat adults with Burkitt lymphoma, regardless of their age or HIV status, using a cocktail of six chemotherapy drugs delivered in lower doses over several 96-hour cycles. The treatment, called dose-adjusted EPOCH-R, was effective at eliminating cancer with significantly fewer side effects.

Impact

Dose-adjusted EPOCH-R provides Burkitt lymphoma patients with a treatment option that causes fewer side effects. In addition, it will improve quality-of-life because patients can receive the treatment in an outpatient setting, a welcome alternative to the prolonged hospitalization required to receive the more toxic, higher-dose chemotherapy that has traditionally been given to these patients.

Publications

Roschewski M, Dunleavy K, Abramson JS, Powell BL, Link BK, Patel P, Bierman PJ, Jagadeesh D, Mitsuyasu RT, Peace D, Watson PR, Hanna WT, Melani C, Lucas AN, Steinberg SM, Pittaluga S, Jaffe ES, Friedberg JW, Kahl BS, Little RF, Bartlett NL, Fanale MA, Noy A, Wilson WH. (2020). Multicenter study of risk-adapted therapy with dose-adjusted EPOCH-R in adults with untreated Burkitt lymphoma. J Clin Oncol. Aug 1;38(22):2519-2529. doi: 10.1200/JCO.20.00303.