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Bone Marrow Transplant. 1998 Aug;22(3):265-71.

Autotransplantation for relapsed or refractory Hodgkin's disease: long-term follow-up and analysis of prognostic factors.

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Department of Medicine, University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry, NY, USA.


Seventy consecutive patients with refractory or relapsed Hodgkin's disease who received high-dose chemotherapy followed by autologous stem cell rescue were analyzed to identify clinically relevant predictors of long-term event-free survival. High-dose therapy consisted primarily of carmustine (BCNU), etoposide, cytarabine and cyclophosphamide (BEAC). The 5-year Kaplan-Meier event-free survival (EFS) for the entire cohort was 32% (95% confidence interval; 18-45%) with a median follow-up of 3.6 years (range 7 months-7.6 years). The most significant predictor of improved survival was the presence of minimal disease (defined as all areas < or =2 cm) at the time of transplant: the 5 years EFS was 46 vs 10% for patients with bulky disease (P = 0.0002). Other independent predictors identified by step-wise regression analysis included the presence of non-refractory disease and the administration of post-transplant involved-field radiotherapy (XRT). Treatment-related mortality occurred in 13 of 70 patients: nine patients (13%) died within the first 100 days, mainly from cardiopulmonary toxicity. However, only one of 24 patients (4%) transplanted during the last 4.5 years died from early treatment-related complications. While high-dose therapy followed by autotransplantation led to long-term EFS of 50% for patients with favorable prognostic factors, a substantial proportion of patients relapsed, indicating that new therapeutic strategies are needed.

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