Perspectives of the management of childhood lymphoma: Experience at Tygerberg Hospital, Western Cape, South Africa
Hodgkin's disease (HD) in children corresponds to a large degree to HD in adults. Non-Hodgkin's Lymphoma (NHL) in children, however, differs from NHL in adults with respect to the classification, natural history, management and course. For practical reasons clinicians generally classify and treat NHL in children as either B-cell or T-cell disease. Over the past 22 years, the Paediatric Oncology Unit of the Tygerberg Hospital has treated HD with three different regimens. Use of the CLVPP and MOPP/ABVD regimens resulted in late relapses that adversely affected event free survival (EFS). For the last four years HD has been treated according to the regimen suggested by Schellong with good short term survival rates. Lymphoblastic or T-cell NHL is treated with regimens normally used for acute lymphoblastic leukaemia (e.g. BFM protocols) or modified leukaemia treatments for leukaemia-lymphoma syndromes (e.g. LSA2L2). We lately use a modified BFM regimen with a 70% EFS for all stages. Three consecutive regimens have been used to treat B-cell NHL over the past 22 years. The first was a COMP regimen, followed by the LMB-89 and LMB-96 regimens. Although toxicity has increased with the increased intensity of the treatment regimen, EFS has improved from 25% to 87% for all B-cell NHL. The majority of patients had stage III and IV disease. Although the LMB regimens are toxic, the implementation is manageable provided good laboratory back up and supportive facilities are available. © 2005 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.