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J Clin Oncol. 1995 Feb;13(2):396-402.

Mini-BEAM as salvage therapy for relapsed or refractory Hodgkin's disease before intensive therapy and autologous bone marrow transplantation.

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University of Toronto Autologous Bone Marrow Transplant Program, Toronto Hospital, Canada.



To evaluate the efficacy of carmustine (BCNU), etoposide, cytarabine (Ara-C), and melphalan (mini-BEAM) as salvage therapy in patients with relapsed or refractory Hodgkin's disease who were potentially eligible to undergo intensive therapy and autologous bone marrow transplantation (ABMT).


Forty-four patients with refractory or relapsed Hodgkin's disease after front-line combination chemotherapy referred for consideration of ABMT were treated with mini-BEAM (BCNU 60 mg/m2 on day 1, etoposide 75 mg/m2 on days 2 to 5, Ara-C 100 mg/m2 twice per day on days 2 to 5, and melphalan 30 mg/m2 on day 6) to maximum response. Eleven patients were refractory to primary chemotherapy. Twenty-three patients were treated in first relapse and 10 in second or subsequent relapse; 21 received mini-BEAM as their first salvage regimen. Patients were restaged to determine disease status immediately before intensive therapy and transplant.


The overall response rate was 84% (exact 95% confidence interval [CI], 70% to 92%), with a complete response (CR) rate of 32% (95% CI, 20% to 47%) and a partial response (PR) rate of 52%. No treatment-related deaths were observed. Myelosuppression was the major toxicity. Almost all patients required platelet transfusions. Eighty-four percent were given RBC transfusions, and 54% required intravenous antibiotics for fever while neutropenic.


Mini-BEAM is a safe and effective regimen for treatment of refractory or relapsed Hodgkin's disease. Further studies are required to determine if responding patients have improved disease-free survival (DFS) after intensive therapy and ABMT.

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