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Biol Blood Marrow Transplant. 2003 Jan;9(1):4-37.

The role of cytotoxic therapy with hematopoietic stem cell transplantation in the therapy of multiple myeloma: an evidence-based review.

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Roswell Park Cancer Institute, Department of Medicine, Buffalo, New York 14263, USA.


Evidence supporting the role of hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (SCT) in the therapy of multiple myeloma (MM) is presented and critically evaluated in this systematic evidence-based review. Specific criteria were used for searching the published medical literature and for grading the quality of the evidence, the strength of the evidence, and the strength of the treatment recommendations. Treatment recommendations based on the evidence presented in the review were made unanimously by a panel of MM experts. Recommendations for SCT as an effective therapy for MM include the following: SCT is preferred to standard chemotherapy as de novo therapy; SCT is preferred as de novo rather than salvage therapy; autologous peripheral blood stem cell transplantation (PBSCT) is preferred to bone marrow transplantation (BMT); and melphalan is preferred to melphalan plus total body irradiation as the conditioning regimen for autologous SCT. Recommendations that SCT is not effective include the following: current purging techniques of bone marrow. Recommendations of equivalence include the following: PBSCT using CD34+ selected or unselected stem cells. No recommendation is made for indications or transplantation techniques that have not been adequately studied, including the following: SCT versus standard chemotherapy as salvage therapy, tandem autologous SCT, autologous or allogeneic SCT as a high-dose sequential regimen, allogeneic BMT versus PBSCT, a preferred allogeneic myeloablative or non-myeloablative conditioning regimen, and maintenance therapy post-autologous SCT with interferon alpha post-SCT. The priority area of needed future research is maintenance therapy posttransplantation with nothing versus interferon alpha versus other agents such as corticosteroids or thalidomide or its derivatives.

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