The role of cytotoxic therapy with hematopoietic stem cell transplantation in the treatment of diffuse large B cell lymphoma: update of the 2001 evidence-based review.
High-dose chemotherapy with autologous SCT has become standard of care for patients with relapsed aggressive non-Hodgkin's lymphoma (NHL). To improve safety and efficacy of this treatment, new conditioning regimens are being developed. We retrospectively reviewed clinical data of patients with relapsed NHL treated at our institution with i.v. BU and CY (BU/CY) as conditioning regimen for autologous SCT between January 2000 and April 2005. We identified 43 patients (24 men, 19 women, median age 50) with diffuse large B-cell lymphoma (n=28), follicular lymphoma (n=8), mantle cell lymphoma (n=4) and peripheral T-cell lymphoma (n=3). Following salvage chemotherapy, there were 26 complete responses, 13 partial responses and 4 stable diseases. Median time to neutrophil and platelet recovery was 11 and 13.5 days, respectively. Treatment-related toxicities included nausea/vomiting, diarrhea and mucositis. The 100-day mortality was 9%: sepsis (n=1), pneumonia (n=1) and hepatic veno-occlusive disease (n=2). Twenty-one patients were followed until death and twenty-one surviving patients were followed for a median of 29 months (range 0.4–76). Three-year estimates of event-free survival, progression-free survival and overall survival were 35, 39 and 43%, respectively. We conclude that i.v. BU/CY is a safe and effective conditioning regimen for autologous SCT in relapsed NHL.