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J Clin Oncol. 1998 Aug;16(8):2817-24.

Transplant-lite: induction of graft-versus-malignancy using fludarabine-based nonablative chemotherapy and allogeneic blood progenitor-cell transplantation as treatment for lymphoid malignancies.

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Department of Hematology, University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center, Houston 77030, USA.



To investigate the use of a nonmyeloablative fludarabine-based preparative regimen to produce sufficient immunosuppression to allow engraftment of allogeneic stem cells and induction of graft-versus-leukemia/lymphoma (GVL) as the primary treatment modality for patients with chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) and lymphoma.


Fifteen patients were studied. Six patients were in advanced refractory relapse, and induction therapy had failed in two patients. Patients with CLL or low-grade lymphoma received fludarabine 90 to 150 mg/m2 and cyclophosphamide 900 to 2,000 mg/m2. Patients with intermediate-grade lymphoma or in Richter's transformation received cisplatin 25 mg/m2 daily for 4 days; fludarabine 30 mg/m2; and cytarabine 500 mg/m2 daily for 2 days. Chemotherapy was followed by allogeneic stem-cell infusion from HLA-identical siblings. Patients with residual malignant cells or mixed chimerism could receive a donor lymphocyte infusion of 0.5 to 2 x 10(8) mononuclear cells/kg 2 to 3 months posttransplantation if graft-versus-host disease (GVHD) was not present.


Eleven patients had engraftment of donor cells, and the remaining four patients promptly recovered autologous hematopoiesis. Eight of 11 patients achieved a complete response (CR). Five of six patients (83.3%) with chemosensitive disease continue to be alive compared with two of nine patients (22.2%) who had refractory or untested disease at the time of study entry (P = .04).


These findings indicate the feasibility of allogeneic hematopoietic transplantation with a nonablative preparative regimen to produce engraftment and GVL against lymphoid malignancies. The ability to induce remissions with donor lymphocyte infusion in patients with CLL, Richter's, and low-grade and intermediate-grade lymphoma is direct evidence of GVL activity against these diseases. This approach appears to be most promising in patients with chemotherapy-responsive disease and low tumor burden.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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