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Blood. 2009 Sep 3;114(10):2060-7. doi: 10.1182/blood-2008-11-189399. Epub 2009 Jun 4.

Allogeneic hematopoietic stem cell transplantation in children and adolescents with recurrent and refractory Hodgkin lymphoma: an analysis of the European Group for Blood and Marrow Transplantation.

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Department of Pediatrics and Bone Marrow Transplant Unit, University Hospital Schleswig-Holstein, Schwanenweg 20, Kiel, Germany.


Ninety-one children and adolescents 18 years or younger after allogeneic hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (HSCT) for relapsed or refractory Hodgkin lymphoma (HL) were analyzed. Fifty-one patients received reduced intensity conditioning (RIC); 40 patients received myeloablative conditioning (MAC). Nonrelapse mortality (NRM) at 1 year was 21% (+/- 4%), with comparable results after RIC or MAC. Probabilities of relapse at 2 and 5 years were 36% (+/- 5%) and 44% (+/- 6%), respectively. RIC was associated with an increased relapse risk compared with MAC; most apparent beginning 9 months after HSCT (P = .01). Progression-free survival (PFS) was 40% (+/- 6%) and 30% (+/- 6%) and overall survival (OS) was 54% (+/- 6%) and 45% (+/- 6%) at 2 and 5 years, respectively. Disease status at HSCT was predictive of PFS in multivariate analysis (P < .001). Beyond 9 months, PFS after RIC was lower compared with MAC (P = .02). Graft-versus-host disease did not affect relapse rate and PFS. In conclusion, children and adolescents with recurring HL show reasonable results with allogeneic HSCT. Especially patients allografted in recent years with good performance status and chemosensitive disease show highly encouraging results (PFS: 60% +/- 27%, OS: 83% +/- 15% at 3 years). Because relapse remains the major cause of treatment failure, additional efforts to improve disease control are necessary.

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