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Leuk Lymphoma. 2012 May;53(5):836-41. doi: 10.3109/10428194.2011.643404.

Salvage chemotherapy and autologous stem cell transplant in primary refractory diffuse large B-cell lymphoma: outcomes and prognostic factors.

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Division of Medical Oncology and Hematology, Princess Margaret Hospital, Toronto, ON, Canada.


Patients with primary refractory diffuse large B-cell lymphoma (REF DLBCL: progression on or within 3 months of completion of primary therapy) sensitive to salvage chemotherapy undergo autologous stem cell transplant (ASCT). We conducted a retrospective review of 111 patients with REF DLBCL treated between 1999 and 2007. Primary treatment consisted of cyclophosphamide, adriamycin, vincristine and prednisone (CHOP; 66%) and rituximab with CHOP (R-CHOP; 33%); 14% received involved field radiation. The response rate (RR) to first salvage chemotherapy was 23% (RR by regimen: dexamethasone, cytosine arabinoside and cisplatin [DHAP] 15%, etoposide, Solu-Medrol, cytosine arabinoside and cisplatin [ESHAP] 36%, and gemcitabine, dexamethasone and cisplatin [GDP] 45%); 25% (n = 28) of patients underwent ASCT. With a median follow-up of 5.9 months (range 1-94), the median progression-free and overall survival from primary treatment failure was 3 and 10 months, respectively. Outcomes in patients with REF DLBCL after CHOP or R-CHOP appear equally poor. Second-generation platinum-containing regimens (ESHAP, GDP) may be superior to DHAP in this setting. Novel, prospectively evaluated treatment approaches should be pursued in REF DLBCL.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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