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Biol Blood Marrow Transplant. 2007 Sep;13(9):1057-65. Epub 2007 Jul 16.

Long-term survival after autologous bone marrow transplantation for follicular lymphoma in first remission.

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


The role of autologous stem cell transplantation (ASCT) in the treatment of follicular lymphoma is still being defined in the era of antibody therapy. Here we report the long-term 12-year clinical outcomes of patients treated with autologous bone marrow transplantation (ABMT) for follicular non-Hodgkin's lymphoma (NHL) in first remission. Between 1988 and 1993, advanced-stage follicular NHL patients in need of initial therapy were enrolled in 2 consecutive prospective treatment trials of either standard-dose CHOP induction (83 patients) or high-dose CHOP plus granulocyte-colony stimulating factor (G-CSF) (20 patients). Patients who achieved an adequate remission with induction therapy underwent conditioning with cyclophosphamide and total body irradiation (TBI) followed by ABMT in first remission using bone marrow (BM) purged in vitro with anti-B cell monoclonal antibodies and rabbit complement (96 patients). At 12-year follow-up, 61% of the patients are alive and 43% remain in continuing complete remission. The only predictors of decreased progression-free survival proved to be histologic BM involvement at time of harvest (hazard ratio [HR] 2.27, 95% confidence interval [CI] 1.3-3.9, P<.004) and PCR detectable disease in the BM product after purging (HR 4.18, 95% CI 1.99-8.8, P=.0002). No significant predictors of overall survival were identified. These results at 12-year follow-up suggest that a subset of follicular lymphoma patients can experience prolonged survival with ABMT in first remission.

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