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J Clin Oncol. 1993 Apr;11(4):704-11.

High-dose etoposide and melphalan, and autologous bone marrow transplantation for patients with advanced Hodgkin's disease: importance of disease status at transplant.

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University of Toronto Autologous Bone Marrow Transplant Program, Canada.



To evaluate an intensive therapy regimen of high-dose etoposide and melphalan and autologous bone marrow transplantation (ABMT) in advanced Hodgkin's disease; and to determine possible prognostic factors that predict for long-term disease-free survival (DFS).


Seventy-three patients with advanced Hodgkin's disease who had failed to achieve remission with front-line chemotherapy (n = 16) or who had relapsed (n = 57) were treated with high-dose etoposide 60 mg/kg and melphalan 160 mg/m2 and ABMT. Previous therapy included mechlorethamine, vincristine, procarbazine, and prednisone (MOPP) alternating with doxorubicin, bleomycin, vinblastine, and dacarbazine (ABVD), or hybrid MOPP/ABV. All patients received pretransplant cytoreduction with conventional-dose salvage chemotherapy and 40 also received pretransplant extended-field radiation to areas of bulky nodal disease (> 5 cm).


Response to high-dose etoposide and melphalan was determined at 3 months post-ABMT. The complete response (CR) rate was 75% (95% confidence interval [CI], 64% to 84%), including 35 of 50 patients with measurable disease before ABMT (70%; 95% CI, 60% to 86%). There were three early deaths (septicemia) and four late deaths (three interstitial pneumonitis, one intracerebral hemorrhage). Actuarial DFS is 38.6% at 4 years. Multivariate regression analysis showed that disease status at the time of ABMT (no evidence of disease [NED], nonbulky residual disease [NBRD], or bulky disease) was the most important factor determining DFS: 68% of those transplanted with NED versus 26% for patients with NBRD and 0% for bulky disease (P = .0002, log-rank test). Relapse in a previous radiation field was the only other significant prognostic factor.


Etoposide and melphalan is an effective and well-tolerated intensive therapy regimen in advanced Hodgkin's disease. Patients in complete remission after conventional-dose salvage therapy transplanted with this regimen enjoy superior long-term DFS.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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