Scientific publications

Nonmyeloablative stem cell transplantation is an effective therapy for refractory or relapsed hodgkin lymphoma

Feb 1, 2006 | Magazine: Biology and Blood Marrow Transplantation

Iván Alvarez  1 , Anna Sureda, Maria D Caballero, Alvaro Urbano-Ispizua, Josep M Ribera, Miguel Canales, Javier García-Conde, Guillermo Sanz, Reyes Arranz, Maria T Bernal, Javier de la Serna, José L Díez, José M Moraleda, Daniel Rubió-Félix, Blanca Xicoy, Carmen Martínez, Marivi V Mateos, Jorge Sierra


We report the results of reduced-intensity conditioning allogeneic stem cell transplantation (allo-RIC) in patients with advanced Hodgkin lymphoma (HL). Forty patients with relapsed or refractory HL were homogeneously treated with an RIC protocol (fludarabine 150 mg/m(2) intravenously plus melphalan 140 mg/m(2) intravenously) and cyclosporin A and methotrexate as graft-versus-host disease (GVHD) prophylaxis.

Twenty-one patients (53%) had received >2 lines of chemotherapy, 23 patients (58%) had received radiotherapy, and 29 patients (73%) had experienced treatment failure with a previous autologous stem cell transplantation. Twenty patients (50%) were allografted in resistant relapse, and 38 patients received hematopoietic cells from an HLA-identical sibling. Five patients (12%) died from early transplant-related mortality (before day +100 after allo-RIC). One-year transplant-related mortality was 25%. Acute GVHD developed in 18 patients (45%). Chronic GVHD developed in 17 (45%) of the 31 evaluable patients.

The response rate 3 months after the allo-RIC was 67% (21 [52%] complete remissions and 6 [15%] partial remissions). Eleven patients received donor lymphocyte infusions (DLIs) for disease relapse. The response rate after DLI was 54% (3 complete remissions and 3 partial remissions). Overall survival (OS) and progression-free survival (PFS) were 48% +/- 10% and 32% +/- 10% at 2 years, respectively. Refractoriness to chemotherapy was the only adverse prognostic factor for both OS (63% +/- 12% versus 35% +/- 13%; P = .05) and PFS (55% +/- 16% versus 10% +/- 9%; P = .006). For patients with failure of a prior autologous hematopoietic stem cell transplantation, results were especially good for those who experienced late relapses (>/=12 months: 2-year OS and PFS were 75% +/- 16% and 70% +/- 18%, respectively).

These data suggest that allo-RIC is feasible in heavily pretreated HL patients and has an acceptable early transplant-related mortality. Results are better in patients allografted in sensitive disease. Both responses observed after the development of GVHD and DLI may suggest a graft-versus-HL effect.

Allo-RIC has to be considered an effective therapeutic approach for patients who have had treatment failure with a previous autologous hematopoietic stem cell transplantation.

CITATION  Biol Blood Marrow Transplant. 2006 Feb;12(2):172-83. doi: 10.1016/j.bbmt.2005.09.009

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