Therapeutic Options in Patients with Lymphoma and Severe Liver Dysfunction

Irene M. Ghobrial, Robert C. Wolf, Denise L. Pereira, Rafael Fonseca, William L. White, Joseph P. Colgan, Thomas M. Habermann, David J. Inwards, Svetomir N. Markovic, Stephen M. Ansell, Ivana N.M. Micallef, Luis F. Porrata, Thomas E. Witzig

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

22 Scopus citations


Objectives: To determine the long-term outcome of patients presenting with synchronous lymphoma and severe liver dysfunction and to describe the outcome of patients treated with initial mechlorethamine-based therapy used as a bridge to more conventional chemotherapy. Patients and Methods: We reviewed the clinical course of all patients diagnosed as having lymphoma who presented with severe liver dysfunction and received intravenous mechlorethamine between September 1988 and February 2003 at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn. Results: Forty-one patients were identified, 33 (80%) of whom had newly diagnosed, previously untreated lymphoma. Thirty-seven (90%) had non-Hodgkin lymphoma, and 4 (10%) had Hodgkin disease. Thirty-four patients (83%) had stage IV disease, and 31 (84%) of 37 had an intermediate-high International Prognostic Index. The median total bilirubin level before therapy was 10.7 mg/dL (range, 2.5-30.2 mg/dL), and the median alkaline phosphatase level was 982 U/L (range, 233-3415 U/L). In addition to mechlorethamine, 34 patients (83%) received concomitant corticosteroids, and 12 (29%) received concomitant rituximab. Twenty-two patients (54%) had sufficient improvement in liver function to receive subsequent standard chemotherapy. Nine patients (22%) are alive and disease-free at a median of 31 months (range, 4 to ≥87 months) after mechlorethamine treatment. Factors associated with improved overall survival included improvement in bilirubin levels (P<.001) and receiving subsequent standard chemotherapy (P=.001). Conclusion: Mechlorethamine, high-dose corticosteroids, and rituximab are useful therapeutic interventions for this unique group of patients with lymphoma and severe liver dysfunction. Substantial clinical improvement and long-term survival are possible.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)169-175
Number of pages7
JournalMayo Clinic proceedings
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 2004

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Medicine


Dive into the research topics of 'Therapeutic Options in Patients with Lymphoma and Severe Liver Dysfunction'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this