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Leuk Lymphoma. 1997 Dec;28(1-2):127-32.

Early high dose chemotherapy intensification with autologous bone marrow transplantation in lymphoma associated with retention of fertility and normal pregnancies in females. Scotland and Newcastle Lymphoma Group, UK.

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  • 1Department of Haematology, Royal Victoria Infirmary, Newcastle upon Tyne, UK.


As more centres consider autologous bone marrow and peripheral blood stem cell transplantation for patients with high risk Hodgkin's disease (HD) and non-Hodgkin's lymphoma (NHL) in first complete remission (CR1) the long term sequelae of such treatments have to be considered. One of the most important side effects of such intensive treatment is loss of fertility. Sperm banking before treatment commences is available for males but unfortunately cryopreservation of ova/ovarian tissue is not yet possible for females. We have transplanted 30 women, 23 were under 40 years and report ten females who have had successful pregnancies (including two twin pregnancies and one triplet pregnancy), leading to live births following autologous bone marrow transplantation (ABMT) for poor prognosis HD and NHL in first or second complete remission. None of these children have shown evidence of birth defects (median follow up of two years). Of the twenty one pregnancies reported to the European Bone Marrow Transplantation Registry (EBMTR) following ABMT for lymphoma, eight of the seventeen unassisted cases came from our centres. The Newcastle/SNLG autotransplant differs from the approach in many EBMTR centres in that it uses melphalan or melphalan/etoposide alone instead of the more common four drug containing regimens and yet sustained complete remission rates indicate that the non-ablative approach is equally effective as more aggressive regimens on the disease with the huge advantage of preserved fertility in females. This approach to conditioning for ABMT should be considered when treating women in the reproductive age group.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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