Two stem cell transplants benefit patients with relapsed follicular lymphoma

Autologous stem cell transplantation (SCT), when followed by a sibling reduced-intensity allogeneic SCT, produced impressive results in patients with relapsed follicular lymphoma, according to a small Canadian study presented at the December 2009 American Society of Hematology (ASH) meeting.

The study featured 27 patients, all with relapsed follicular lymphoma (FL) who were given chemotherapy-based autologous SCT followed by a reduced-intensity allogeneic SCT from an HLA matched sibling.

14 patients received the BEAC regimen (BCNU, etoposide, cytarabine, cyclophosphamide) for the autologous SCT, while 13 patients received the BEAM regimen (BCNU, etoposide, cytarabine, and melphalan) for the autologous SCT.

All patients received fludarabine and cycolophosphamide as outpatients for the allogeneic SCT, with an average interval of 133 days between transplants.

All 27 patients achieved a complete remission following the allogeneic SCT, while median progression-free (PFS) survival, as well as overall survival (OS), at three and five years was an astonishing 96%.

By Ross Bonander

Source: Cohen S, Busque L, Kiss T, et al. Tandem autologous-allogeneic nonmyeloablative sibling transplant in relapsed follicular lymphoma leads to impressive progression free survival with minimal toxicity. Blood. 2009;114:25, abstract 50.

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