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J Clin Oncol. 2001 Feb 1;19(3):727-35.

High-dose therapy and autologous stem-cell support for chemosensitive transformed low-grade follicular non-Hodgkin's lymphoma: a case-matched study from the European Bone Marrow Transplant Registry.

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Department of Hematology, University College Hospital, London, United Kingdom.



To assess the outcome of high-dose therapy with autologous stem-cell support in patients with histologic transformation of low-grade follicular non-Hodgkin's lymphoma (NHL) and identify significant prognostic factors, as well as to compare survival of these patients with that of patients with matched low-grade and de novo high- or intermediate-grade NHL undergoing the same procedure.


Fifty patients with transformed low-grade NHL have been reported to the European Bone Marrow Transplant registry. Outcome from high-dose therapy and significant prognostic factors were analyzed. Their survival was also compared with that of 200 patients with matched low-grade NHL and 200 patients with matched de novo high- or intermediate-grade NHL by a case-matched analysis.


The procedure-related death rate among the 50 transformed NHL patients was 18%. Overall survival (OS) and progression-free survival (PFS) rates were 51% and 30% at 5 years, respectively. Median PFS time was 13 months. Raised lactate dehydrogenase levels at transformation (P =.0031) was identified as the only adverse significant predictor of PFS on multivariate analysis. A subgroup of patients with residual chemosensitive disease who attained complete remission after high-dose therapy had the best outcome, with an OS at 5 years of 69%. A comparison with matched patients with low-grade disease and with de novo high- or intermediate-grade lymphoma showed no significant difference in OS (P =.939 and P =.438, respectively).


Patients with chemosensitive transformed lymphoma should be seriously considered for high-dose therapy and autologous stem-cell support.

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