Prognostic Importance of Advanced Age in Aggressive Non-Hodgkin’s Malignant Lymphoma

F. Kovner, O. Merimsky*, M. Inbar, V. Soyfer, Y. Cahan, R. Rachmani, S. Chaitchik

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The importance of age as a prognostic factor in aggressive non-Hodgkin's malignant lymphoma (NHL) remains controversial. It is not clear whether age is an independent factor, reflecting the limited physiologic reserves of the patient, and leading in any treatment conditions to the poorer treatment outcome. This study was aimed at assessing the influence of age on treatment results in NHL patients. Therefore, the records of 40 patients with histologically confirmed NHL of intermediate and high-grade malignancy, according to the Working Formulation, who were treated by Adriamycin-containing chemotherapy, were retrospectively reviewed. There were 25 patients above 60 years of age and 15 patients below this age. Myelotoxicity was observed in 60% of the patients in the younger and in 48% patients in the older age group. The median time to dose-limiting toxicity, average percentage of projected dose intensity for all drugs, and percentage of projected dose intensity did not differ significantly in the two groups. Complete remissions (CR) were obtained in 67 and 64% of the younger and older groups, respectively. Progressive disease was observed during the treatment in 20% of the patients in each age group. Median survival was 36.5 and 32 months in the younger and older group, respectively. In conclusion, age alone is not an absolute predictor of survival of treated elderly patients with aggressive NHL. Dose rate, tolerance of treatment and achievement of CR are additional important prognostic factors. Dose intensity should not be automatically reduced at the beginning of the treatment, especially now that growth factors are available.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)435-440
Number of pages6
Issue number6
StatePublished - 1 Jan 1996
Externally publishedYes


  • Age
  • Chemotherapy
  • Dose intensity
  • Non-Hodgkins lymphoma
  • Percentage dose intensity
  • Prognostic factors


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