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Tandem autologous-allogeneic nonmyeloablative sibling transplantation in relapsed follicular lymphoma leads to impressive progression-free survival with minimal toxicity.

Cohen S, Kiss T, Lachance S, Roy DC, Sauvageau G, Busque L, Ahmad I, Roy J

Blood and Marrow Transplant Program, Maisonneuve-Rosemont Hospital, University of Montreal, Montreal, Quebec, Canada.

Autologous stem cell transplantation (ASCT) prolongs survival in patients with relapsed follicular lymphoma. ASCT is usually not curative, however. Myeloablative allogeneic transplantation has produced long-term survival at a cost of significant transplantation-related mortality (TRM), whereas reduced-intensity transplantation entails less TRM but has a higher relapse rate. We thus initiated a protocol consisting of ASCT followed by nonmyeloablative allogeneic transplantation (NMT) for relapsed follicular lymphoma to mimic myeloablative allogeneic transplantation without the associated toxicity. The NMT was non-T cell-depleted, and all donors were HLA-identical siblings. We report results in 27 patients with a median age of 49 years (range, 34-65 years). Five patients demonstrated histological progression toward an aggressive lymphoma. The patients had received a median of 3 lines of previous therapy. Disease status before ASCT included 8 patients in complete remission, 14 in partial remission, and 5 refractory. Five patients developed grade II-IV acute graft-versus-host disease, and 20 patients developed chronic graft-versus-host disease requiring systemic therapy. With a median follow-up of 39 months after NMT, overall survival and progression-free survival were 96% at 3 years. We conclude that the combined ASCT-NMT strategy appears to be safe, with excellent progression-free survival even in refractory and transformed cases. This novel approach warrants further investigation in larger prospective studies.

Biol. Blood Marrow Transplant. 2012;18(6):951-7.

Pubmed ID: 22155507

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