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Ann Oncol. 2007 Jan;18(1):136-42. Epub 2006 Oct 27.

Initial chemotherapy with mitoxantrone, chlorambucil, prednisone impairs the collection of stem cells in patients with indolent lymphomas--results of a randomized comparison by the German Low-Grade Lymphoma Study Group.

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  • 1Department of Internal Medicine III, Ludwig-Maximilians University, Munich Grosshadern, Germany.


Myeloablative radio-chemotherapy with subsequent autologous stem cell transplantation (ASCT) significantly prolongs progression free and probably overall survival in follicular lymphoma (FL) in first remission. The current trial explored prospectively the rate of successful stem cell mobilization in patients with advanced stage FL after initial therapy with either Mitoxantrone, Chlorambucil, Prednisone (MCP) or Cyclophosphamide, Doxorubicin, Vincristine, Prednisone (CHOP) as part of a prospective randomized comparison of both regimens. ASCT patients received Dexa-BEAM (Dexamethasone, BCNU, Melphalan, Etoposide, Cytarabine) for mobilization of stem cells. Stem cells were collected and a minimum of 2x2.0x106/kg bw CD34+ was required for ASCT. Of 79 evaluable patients, 58 (73%) had follicular lymphoma, 13 (16%) mantle cell lymphoma and 8 (10%) lymphoplasmacytic lymphoma. In the 45 patients assigned to CHOP, stem cell collection was successful in 42 cases (93%, 95% CI 82% to 99%). This high mobilization rate after CHOP could be confirmed in 61 subsequent patients (87%). In contrast, after MCP therapy stem cell collection was successful in only 15 of 34 patients (44%, 95% CI 27% to 62%; P=0.0003). In conclusion, initial therapy with MCP significantly impairs the ability to collect stem cells and should be avoided for first line therapy of younger patients potentially qualifying for high dose consolidation and ASCT in first remission.

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