Autologous or Allogeneic Stem Cell Transplantation in Patients with Waldenstrom's Macroglobulinemia

Athanasios Anagnostopoulos, Parameswaran N. Hari, Waleska S. Pérez, Karen Ballen, Asad Bashey, Christopher N. Bredeson, César O. Freytes, Robert Peter Gale, Morie A. Gertz, John Gibson, Hartmut Goldschmidt, Hillard M. Lazarus, Philip L. McCarthy, Donna E. Reece, David H. Vesole, Sergio A. Giralt

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52 Scopus citations


The role of hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (SCT) in Waldenstrom's macroglobulinemia (WM) has not been extensively studied. To determine the potential for long-term disease control using SCT in WM, we performed a retrospective review of 36 patients with WM who received autologous (n = 10) or allogeneic (n = 26) SCT and were reported to the Center for International Blood and Marrow Transplant Research between 1986 and 2002. The following outcomes were described: nonrelapse mortality (NRM), relapse, progression-free survival (PFS), and overall survival (OS). Median age at the time of SCT was 51 years (range, 30-76 years), and median time from initial treatment to SCT was 29 months (range, 2-198 months). A total of 78% of the patients had 2 or more previous chemotherapy regimens, and 52% had disease resistant to salvage chemotherapy. In the allogeneic SCT group, 58% of the patients received myeloablative conditioning regimens containing total body irradiation (TBI), and of the allograft recipients, 19% received nonmyeloablative/reduced-intensity conditioning. After a median follow-up of 65 months, 15 of the 36 patients (42%) are alive. Primary disease accounted for 29% of the deaths in the allogeneic SCT group and 25% of the deaths in the autologous SCT group. The relapse rate at 3 years was 29% (95% confidence interval [CI], 14%-48%) in the allogeneic group and 24% (95% CI, 4%-54%) in the autologous group. PFS at 3 years was 31% (95% CI, 14%-50%) in the allogeneic group and 65% (95% CI, 32%-91%) in the autologous group; OS was 46% (95% CI, 27%-65%) in the allogeneic group and 70% (95% CI, 40%-93%) in the autologous group. NRM at 3 years was 40% (95% CI, 23%-59%) in the allogeneic group and 11% (95% CI, 0-36%) in the autologous group. Autologous SCT is a safe and feasible treatment option for patients with WM, especially for those who present with adverse prognostic factors. Allogeneic SCT carries a much higher (40%) risk of NRM and should not be considered outside the context of a clinical trial.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)845-854
Number of pages10
JournalBiology of Blood and Marrow Transplantation
Issue number8
StatePublished - Aug 2006


  • Allogeneic
  • Autologous
  • Stem cell transplantation
  • Waldenstrom's macroglobulinemia

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Hematology
  • Transplantation


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