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Blood. 1999 Nov 15;94(10):3325-33.

Long-term follow-up of autologous bone marrow transplantation in patients with relapsed follicular lymphoma.

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Department of Adult Oncology and Biostatistics, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, Brigham and Women's Hospital, Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA 02115, USA.


We report the results of high-dose chemoradiotherapy and anti-B-cell monoclonal antibody-purged autologous bone marrow transplantation (ABMT) in patients with relapsed indolent follicular lymphoma. Between March 1985 and May 1995, 153 patients underwent ABMT using a uniform ablative regimen with cyclophosphamide and total body irradiation and bone marrow (BM) purging. All patients received multiple chemotherapy regimens before ABMT. At BM harvest, only 30% of patients were in complete remission, and overt BM infiltration was present in 47%. The disease-free survival (DFS) and overall survival (OS) are estimated to be 42% and 66% at 8 years, respectively. Patients whose BM was negative by polymerase chain reaction (PCR) for bcl2/IgH rearrangement after purging experienced longer freedom from recurrence than those whose BM remained PCR positive (P <.0001). Continued PCR negativity in follow-up BM samples was also strongly predictive of continued complete remission (CR). The 12-year survival from diagnosis for these 153 patients is 69%. Considering that the median survival from diagnosis and first recurrence of patients with advanced follicular lymphoma are 8 and 5 years, respectively, our results provide evidence that myeloablative therapy and ABMT may prolong overall survival.

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