[en] We conducted a randomized trial to compare the intensive conventional chemotherapy regimen ACVBP (doxorubicin, cyclophosphamide, vindesine, bleomycin, prednisone) with standard CHOP (cyclophosphamide, doxorubicin, vincristine, and prednisone) in previously untreated patients with poor-risk aggressive lymphoma. Patients aged 61 to 69 years who had aggressive non-Hodgkin lymphoma with at least one prognostic factor of the age-adjusted international prognostic index (IPI) were included. ACVBP consisted of an induction phase of intensified chemotherapy and central nervous system (CNS) prophylaxis followed by a sequential consolidation phase. Of the 708 patients registered for the study, 635 were eligible. The rate of complete response was 58% in the ACVBP group and 56% in the CHOP group (P =.5). Treatment-related death occurred in 13% of the ACVBP group and 7% of the CHOP group (P =.014). At 5 years, the event-free survival was 39% in the ACVBP group and 29% in the CHOP group (P =.005). The overall survival was significantly longer for patients treated with ACVBP, at 5 years it was 46% compared with 38% for patients treated with CHOP (P =.036). CNS progressions or relapses were more frequent in the CHOP group (P =.004). Despite higher toxicity, the ACVBP regimen, used as first-line treatment for patients with poor-risk aggressive lymphoma, is superior to standard CHOP with regard to both event-free survival and overall survival. (C) 2003 by The American Society of Hematology.