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High-dose therapy and autologous transplantation for lymphoma: The Peter MacCallum Cancer Institute experience

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Background: High-dose therapy (HDT) with autologous bone marrow or blood cell transplantation for the treatment of lymphoma commenced at Peter MacCallum Cancer Institute in 1986.

Aim: To examine the patient characteristics and outcomes of patients with non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma (NHL) and Hodgkin’s disease (HD) treated with HDT and autologous transplantation at our Institute in the first 10 years of the service (1986–95).

Methods: A retrospective analysis was performed examining patient characteristics, prior chemotherapy regimens, pretransplant disease status, HDT regimen, source of stem cells, time for haematopoietic recovery, complications of transplantation, response rates, overall survival (OS) and progression-free survival (PFS).

Results: Sixty-seven patients with NHL were treated with an estimated 5-year OS rate of 44% (95% confidence interval (CI) 32–56%) and PFS rate of 34% (95% CI 21–44%). Factors independently predictive of an unfavourable PFS on multivariate analyses were presence of constitutional symptoms at transplant (P < 0.002) and chemotherapy-resistant disease at transplant (P = 0.02). Twenty-three patients with HD were treated with a 5-year predicted OS rate of 74% (95% CI 56–92%) and PFS rate of 57% (95% CI 36–77%). There was no difference in PFS for HD patients who relapsed either within 12 months of completion of front-line therapy or after this time (P = 0.5). The transplant-related mortality for the entire cohort was 17%, with a progressive decrease over time.

Conclusion: HDT with autologous transplanta- tion achieves durable PFS and OS in patients with lymphoma. Improved patient selection, therapy modifications according to prognostic factors and ongoing improvements in supportive care should improve outcomes further. (Intern Med J 2001; 31: 279–289)

Keywords: Hodgkin’s disease; autologous transplantation; non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: 1: Department of Medical Oncology, St Vincent’s Hospital 2: Autologous Blood and Marrow Transplant Service, Division of Haematology and Medical Oncology 3: Division of Radiation Oncology 4: Department of Pathology 5: Statistical Centre, Peter MacCallum Cancer Institute, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia

Publication date: 2001-07-01

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