BACKGROUND: A doxorubicin (DOX)-based chemotherapy protocol, CHOP, is the most effective treatment for canine high-grade B-cell lymphoma; however, the cost and time requirements associated with this protocol are not feasible for many pet owners. An alternative treatment option is the use of DOX, the most effective drug, in combination with prednisone. Prior studies with single-agent DOX included dogs with T-cell lymphoma, a known negative prognostic factor, which may have resulted in shorter reported survival times than if dogs with B-cell lymphoma were analyzed separately. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the outcome of dogs with high-grade B-cell lymphoma when treated with DOX and prednisone with or without L-asparaginase (L-ASP). Identification of prognostic factors was of secondary interest. RESULTS: Thirty-three dogs were included in the study; 31 dogs were evaluable for response with an overall response rate of 84%. The median progression free survival (PFS) and overall survival (OS) were 147 days and 182 days, respectively. The one-year survival fraction was 23%. No variable other than protocol completion was found to be significant for either PFS or OS including historical prognostic factors such as substage, thrombocytopenia, and body weight. CONCLUSIONS: Dogs with high-grade B-cell lymphoma treated with DOX and prednisone with or without L-ASP have similar response rates, PFS, and OS to prior studies that did not differentiate between lymphoma immunophenotype. This protocol is not a replacement for CHOP; however, it is an alternative if time and cost are factors, while providing therapeutic benefit greater than prednisone alone.
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