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Favorable Outcomes from Allogeneic and Autologous Stem Cell Transplantation for Patients with Transformed Nonfollicular Indolent Lymphoma

Diego Villa, Anupkumar George, John F. Seymour, Cynthia L. Toze, Michael Crump, Christina Lee, Rena Buckstein, Douglas A. Stewart, David MacDonald, Ronan Foley, Anargyros Xenocostas, Mitchell Sabloff, Neil Chua, Felix Couture, Jean F. Larouche, et al.

Original Research Article
Biology of Blood and Marrow Transplantation, In Press, Uncorrected Proof, Available online 18 July 2014


The role of allogeneic (allo-) and autologous stem cell transplantation (auto-SCT) in the management of patients with transformed indolent nonfollicular non-Hodgkin lymphoma is unknown. This is a multicenter, retrospective cohort study of patients with biopsy-proven indolent B cell nonfollicular non-Hodgkin lymphoma and simultaneous or subsequent biopsy-proven aggressive histology transformation who were treated with allo-SCT or auto-SCT between 1996 and 2013. All patients received myeloablative conditioning regimens. Outcomes were compared with a cohort of 246 patients with transformed follicular lymphoma who also underwent allo-SCT (n = 47) or auto-SCT (n = 199) across the same institutions and time frame. Thirty-four patients were identified with the following underlying indolent histologies: 15 (44%) marginal zone lymphoma, 11 (32%) chronic lymphocytic leukemia, 6 (18%) small lymphocytic lymphoma, and 2 (6%) lymphoplasmacytic lymphoma. Patients received various anthracycline or platinum-containing chemotherapy regimens for transformation, incorporating rituximab in 25 (74%). Twelve (35%) subsequently underwent allo-SCT, whereas 33 (65%) underwent auto-SCT. The 3-year overall survival rate after transplantation was 67% (allo-SCT 54%, auto-SCT 74%), and 3-year progression-free survival rate was 49% (allo-SCT 40%, auto-SCT 54%). The 3-year nonrelapse mortality rate was 14% (allo-SCT 15%, auto-SCT 7%). Transplant-related mortality at 100 days was 17% for allo-SCT and 0% for auto-SCT. Adjusted for type of stem cell transplantation, 3-year overall survival, progression-free survival, and nonrelapse mortality rates were similar to those of patients with transformed follicular lymphoma receiving allo-SCT and auto-SCT (P = .38, P = .69, and P = .54, respectively). Allo-SCT and auto-SCT may be reasonable treatments for selected patients with transformed nonfollicular indolent lymphoma, although medium-term outcomes and toxicity appear to be more favorable with auto-SCT.


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