Successful use of full-dose dexamethasone, high-dose cytarabine, and cisplatin as part of initial therapy in non-hodgkin and hodgkin lymphoma with severe hepatic dysfunction.

Publication Type:

Journal Article


Clinical lymphoma & myeloma, Volume 9, Issue 2, p.167-70 (2009)


2009, Adult, Antineoplastic Combined Chemotherapy Protocols, Cisplatin, Clinical Research Division, Cytarabine, Dexamethasone, Hodgkin Disease, Humans, Hyperbilirubinemia, Liver Diseases, Lymphoma, Large B-Cell, Diffuse, Male, Prognosis, Treatment Outcome


Anthracycline-based chemotherapy is the cornerstone of modern curative regimens for aggressive lymphomas; however, these drugs cannot be safely administered in the setting of severe hepatic dysfunction. Alternative regimens for this setting are required. We describe 2 patients with newly diagnosed advanced aggressive lymphoma (diffuse large B-cell lymphoma [DLBCL] and classic Hodgkin lymphoma [HL]) presenting with severe hepatic dysfunction with hyperbilirubinemia (4.3-13.2 mg/dL). Because of the inability to safely administer unattenuated doses of anthracycline-based regimens, dexamethasone, high-dose cytarabine, and cisplatin (DHAP) was used at full doses (along with rituximab for the DLBCL patient) until hepatic function normalized (1-5 cycles). The treatment was then converted to R-CHOP (rituximab/cyclophosphamide/ doxorubicin/vincristine/prednisone) and ABVD (doxorubicin/bleomycin/vinblastine/dacarbazine) for the DLBCL and HL patient, respectively, to complete therapy. The patients had a partial remission and complete remission, respectively. These data suggest that DHAP is a safe and effective regimen that can be used without dose modification as part of initial therapy in the setting of aggressive lymphoma and hepatic failure. The literature on the use of treatment regimens for aggressive lymphoma in the setting of hepatic dysfunction is reviewed.