OBJECTIVE: We aimed to assess the association between induction chemotherapy (CT) response and survivals and to explore an induction CT response-adapted treatment strategy for localized extranodal NK/T-cell lymphoma (NKTCL) receiving first-line sequential CT and radiation (RT). METHODS: We retrospectively reviewed the data of patients with localized NKTCL receiving first-line CT+RT from 2010 to 2020 at two independent institutes (primary cohort, n = 203; validation cohort, n = 67). Responses after induction CT (initial response), RT (final response) and survivals were analyzed. RESULTS: Patients with initial complete remission (CR) had higher final CR rate than the others (99.1% vs. 78.7%, P < 0.001). Initial CR was associated with superior 5-year progression-free survival (PFS, 90.0% vs. 61.4% vs. 30.8%, P < 0.001) and overall survival (OS, 93.5% vs. 70.7% vs. 60.6%, P < 0.001), as compared to initial partial remission or non-response. Though majority of cases with initial non-CR achieved final CR after RT, they still had a tendency of shortened OS compared with initial CRs (86.9% vs. 90.6%, P = 0.063). Multivariate analysis demonstrated patients with initial non-CR had higher relapse (HR = 4.748, 95% CI, 2.396-9.407, P < 0.001) and death hazard (HR = 4.296, 95% CI, 1.802-10.24, P = 0.001). Furthermore, more intensive therapy of ≥6 total cycles of CT yielded significantly superior 5-year OS for patients with initial non-CR (76.7% vs. 54.7%, P = 0.026) rather than patients with initial CR. CONCLUSION: Deep remission from induction CT was associated with favorable survivals in localized NKTCL receiving CT+RT, and an induction CT response-adapted individualized treatment strategy might be recommended in clinical practice.
- extranodal NK/T-cell lymphoma
- individualized treatment
- induction chemotherapy