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J Clin Oncol. 1994 Dec;12(12):2543-51.

Comparison of autologous bone marrow transplantation with sequential chemotherapy for intermediate-grade and high-grade non-Hodgkin's lymphoma in first complete remission: a study of 464 patients. Groupe d'Etude des Lymphomes de l'Adulte.

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Hôpital Henri Mondor, Créteil, France.



Intensive chemotherapy followed by autotransplantation has given promising results in partially responding or sensitive relapsed patients with aggressive non-Hodgkin's lymphoma. In 1987, we designed a randomized study to evaluate the potential benefit of a high-dose regimen containing cyclophosphamide, carmustine, and etoposide (CBV) followed by autotransplantation over a consolidative sequential chemotherapy (ifosfamide, etoposide, asparaginase, and cytarabine) in patients in first complete remission with intermediate- and high-grade non-Hodgkin's lymphoma.


Patients were younger than 55 years and had at least one adverse prognostic factor. Induction treatment was that of the LNH84 protocol with an open randomization on the anthracycline. Patients in complete remission were further randomly assigned to receive either consolidation procedure.


After induction treatment, 464 patients were assessable for the consolidation phase. With a median follow-up duration of 28 months, the 3-year disease-free survival rate was 52% (95% confidence interval, 45% to 59%) in the sequential chemotherapy arm and 59% (95% confidence interval, 52% to 66%) in the autologous transplant arm (P = .46, relative risk = 0.90). The 3-year survival rate did not differ between sequential chemotherapy and autotransplantation, at 71% (95% confidence interval, 64% to 78%) and 69% (95% confidence interval, 62% to 76%), respectively (P = .60, relative risk = 1.11).


For such a subset of patients, consolidation with the CBV regimen followed by autologous bone marrow transplantation is not superior to sequential chemotherapy.

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