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Biol Blood Marrow Transplant. 2019 Sep 12. pii: S1083-8791(19)30593-2. doi: 10.1016/j.bbmt.2019.09.007. [Epub ahead of print]

Evaluation of the Impact of Autologous Hematopoietic Stem Cell Transplantation on the Quality of Life of Older Patients with Lymphoma.

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Division of Hematology and Medical Oncology, Hematopoietic Cell Transplant Program, Hôpital Maisonneuve-Rosemont, Université de Montréal, Montréal, Québec, Canada.
Division of Hematology and Medical Oncology, Hematopoietic Cell Transplant Program, Hôpital Maisonneuve-Rosemont, Université de Montréal, Montréal, Québec, Canada. Electronic address:


High-dose chemotherapy (HDT) followed by autologous hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (AHSCT) improves survival in patients with chemosensitive non-Hodgkin lymphoma (NHL). Determination of the Hematopoietic Cell Transplantation Comorbidity Index (HCT-CI) has contributed to improve patient selection while allowing for prediction of nonrelapse mortality. We previously demonstrated the efficacy and safety of AHSCT in a cohort of older patients with chemosensitive NHL. Quality of life following AHSCT still has not been widely evaluated. The goal of this study was to assess the long-term quality of life of elderly patients surviving AHSCT. This single-center, Research and Ethics Committee-approved study investigated QoL in survivors of AHSCT for the treatment of NHL in a cohort of older patients. Inclusion criteria were defined as patients age ≥60 years who underwent AHSCT for NHL between January 1, 2008, and January 1, 2015, at our center. Fifty-nine patients from the original cohort of 90 survived at a median of 50 months post-AHSCT. Forty-seven (79.7%) of those patients agreed to complete the QoL assessment questionnaires after the transplantation and are included in this report. All patients provided signed informed consent. We used the EQ-5D instrument to assess mobility, self-care, usual activities, pain/discomfort, and anxiety/depression and the Functional Assessment of Cancer Therapy-Bone Marrow Transplant (FACT-BMT) questionnaire to assess physical, social/family, emotional, and functional well-being and BMT-specific concerns. With both tools, a higher score indicates better QoL. Fifteen percent of patients were in relapse at the time of the QoL assessment. In the EQ-5D, few patients (9%) reported severe impairment, which requires significant negative effects in 4 or 5 domains. Lower Karnofsky Performance Status (KPS) score at the time of transplantation was negatively correlated with mobility (P= .001), self-care (P= .001), and usual activities (P= .007) dysfunction. Anxiety was significant for patients in relapsed after transplantation (P= .002). FACT-BMT questionnaire results demonstrated that physical, social, and emotional well-being were all well preserved after the transplantation, whereas functional well-being was more variable among patients. Relapse was associated with impaired functional well-being (P= .007) and lower total FACT-BMT score (P= .014). Other comparators, including the conditioning regimen, sex, age subgroups (<65 or ≥65 years), HCT-CI score, and disease status at transplantation, did not impact any of these outcomes. This study demonstrates that physical, social, and functional well-being are preserved in older patients following AHSCT. Low KPS score before AHSCT is a predictor of disability at distance from AHSCT. Relapse following AHSCT remains the most significant impediment to maintaining a good QoL. Innovative interventions to improve performance status before transplantation and measures to prevent relapse thereafter should be investigated to improve survival and QoL.


Autologous transplantation; Lymphoma; Older; Quality of life


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