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Bone Marrow Transplant. 2000 Sep;26(6):615-20.

Allogeneic stem cell transplantation with fludarabine-based, less intensive conditioning regimens as adoptive immunotherapy in advanced Hodgkin's disease.

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Department of Blood and Marrow Transplantation, The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, Houston 77030, USA.


Six patients with advanced Hodgkin's disease in which multiple conventional treatments (median prior chemotherapy regimens: seven), radiation therapy, and a prior autologous stem cell transplantation (SCT) had failed underwent allogeneic SCT following a fludarabine-based conditioning regimen. Median age was 29 years (22-30). Median time to progression after autologous SCT was 6 months (4-21). Disease status at transplant was refractory relapse (n = 3) and sensitive relapse (n = 3). Cell source was filgrastim-mobilized peripheral blood stem cells from an HLA-identical sibling (n = 4) or matched unrelated donor marrow (n = 2). Conditioning regimens were fludarabine-cyclophosphamide-antithymocyte globulin (n = 4), fludarabine-melphalan (n = 1) and fludarabine-cytarabine-idarubicin (n = 1). Myeloid recovery was prompt, with an absolute neutrophil count > or =500/microl on day 12 (11-15). Median platelet recovery to > or =20000/microl was on day 9 (0-60). Chimerism studies on day 30 indicated 100% donor-derived hematopoiesis in 4/5 evaluable patients (4/4 non-progressors). All responders (3/3) have ongoing 100% donor-derived chimerism. Acute graft-versus-host disease (GVHD) was diagnosed in 4/6 evaluable patients. Chronic GVHD was present in 2/4 evaluable patients. There were no regimen-related deaths. Overall day 100 transplant-related mortality was 2/6 (33%). Three patients have expired and three are alive and progression-free with a median follow-up of 9 months (6-26) post transplant. We conclude that allogeneic stem cell transplantation with fludarabine-based preparative regimens is feasible in these high-risk, heavily pretreated HD patients.

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