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Blood. 2011 Jun 9;117(23):6109-19. doi: 10.1182/blood-2010-11-317073. Epub 2011 Mar 15.

Autologous stem cell transplantation as a first-line treatment strategy for chronic lymphocytic leukemia: a multicenter, randomized, controlled trial from the SFGM-TC and GFLLC.

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Department of Clinical Hematology, Victor Dupouy Hospital, Argenteuil, France.


Long-term responses have been reported after autologous stem cell transplantation (ASCT) for chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL). We conducted a prospective, randomized trial of ASCT in previously untreated CLL patients. We enrolled 241 patients < 66 years of age with Binet stage B or C CLL. They received 3 courses of mini-CHOP (cyclophosphamide, hydroxydaunorubicin, oncovin, and prednisone/prednisolone) and then 3 courses of fludarabine. Patients in complete response (CR) were then randomized to ASCT or observation, whereas the other patients were randomized to dexamethasone, high-dose aracytin, cisplatin (DHAP) salvage followed by either ASCT or 3 courses of fludarabine plus cyclophosphamide (FC). The primary end point was event-free survival (EFS). After up-front treatment, 105 patients entered CR and were randomized between ASCT (n = 52) and observation (n = 53); their respective 3-year EFS rates were 79.8% and 35.5%; the adjusted hazard ratio was 0.3 (95% CI: 0.1-0.7; P = .003). Ninety-four patients who did not enter CR were randomized between ASCT (n = 46) and FC (n = 48); their respective 3-year EFS rates were 48.9% and 44.4%, respectively; the adjusted hazard ratio was 1.7 (95% CI: 0.9-3.2; P = .13). No difference in overall survival was found between the 2 response subgroups. In young CLL patients in CR, ASCT consolidation markedly delayed disease progression. No difference was observed between ASCT and FC in patients requiring DHAP salvage.

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