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Biol Blood Marrow Transplant. 2011 Jan;17(1 Suppl):S63-70. doi: 10.1016/j.bbmt.2010.10.011.

Stem cell transplantation for indolent lymphoma and chronic lymphocytic leukemia.

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  • 1Barts and The London School of Medicine, London, United Kingdom.


The indolent lymphomas, including chronic lymphocytic leukemia/small lymphocytic lymphoma (CLL) remain incurable with standard therapy. Autologous hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (HSCT) is feasible and has low treatment-related mortality in follicular lymphoma, but there are questions relating to optimal timing of the procedure, conditioning regimen, and late effects. Myeloablative allogeneic HSCT is associated with high treatment-related morbidity and mortality, few late relapses, but is applicable to only a small number of patients. The major focus of HSCT in these lymphomas has been with reduced-intensity conditioning (RIC) allogeneic HSCT, which is applicable to the age distribution of these diseases and which exploits the graft-versus-lymphoma effect in these diseases. Steps to further decrease the morbidity and mortality of the RIC HSCT and in particular to reduce the incidence of chronic extensive graft-versus-host disease (GVHD) while maintaining tumor control remain the major focus. Many potential treatments are available for indolent lymphomas and CLL, and appropriate patient selection and the timing of HSCT remain controversial. The use of HSCT must always be weighed against the risk of the underlying disease, particularly in a setting where improvements in treatment are leading to improved outcome.

Copyright © 2011 American Society for Blood and Marrow Transplantation. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

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