Intensive therapy and autotransplant for patients with an incomplete response to front-line therapy for lymphoma

H. M. Prince, M. Crump, K. Imrie, A. K. Stewart, C. Girouard, J. M. Brandwein, K. Carstairs, D. Pantalony, G. Scott, S. Sutcliffe, D. M.C. Sutton, R. Tsang, A. Keating

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

25 Scopus citations


Background: Patients with Hodgkin's disease (HD) and intermediate or high-grade non-Hodghin's lymphoma (NHL) who fail to achieve a complete remission (CR) with standard induction therapy have a poor prognosis with conventional dose salvage therapy alone. We examined the role of subsequent intensive therapy and autologous bone marrow transplantation (ABMT) in patients who demonstrated a response to conventional-dose salvage therapy. Patients and methods: Sixty-six patients with either HD (n = 30) or NHL (n = 36) underwent intensive therapy with etoposide (60 mg/kg), intravenous melphalan (160-180 mg/m2) followed by infusion of unpurged autologous bone marrow and/or blood cells. All patients had advanced stage or bulky disease at diagnosis and failed to achieve a CR after an anthracycline-containing front-line chemotherapy regimen (NHL) or ABVD or equivalent regimen (HD). Patients who achieved a CR after involved-field radiotherapy were excluded. All patients demonstrated sensitivity to conventional dose salvage treatment before advancing to intensive therapy and ABMT. Resulst: The CR, partial response (PR) and overall response rate (RR) following ABMT for HD patients was 48%, 17% and 65%, respectively. At a median follow-up of 35 months, the predicted three-year overall survival (OS) is 51% (95% CI: 44%-60%) and event-free survival (EFS) is 34% (95% CI: 26%-54%). For patients with NHL, the CR, PR and RR were 68%, 9% and 77%, respectively. At a median follow-up of 28 months, the predicted three-year CS is 51% (95% CI: 35%-66%) and EFS is 39% (95% CI: 21%-57%). Conclusions: Intensive therapy with etoposide and melphalan followed by ABMT results in prolonged survival in selected patients with lymphoma who fail to achieve a complete remission to front-line chemotherapy. Based on our previous studies of outcome to conventional-dose salvage chemotherapy, we estimate that of all patients failing induction therapy, 28% with HD and 15% with NHL will be event-free at three years after ABMT.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1043-1049
Number of pages7
JournalAnnals of Oncology
Issue number10
StatePublished - Dec 1996


  • Hodgkin's disease
  • induction failure
  • non-Hodgkin's lymphoma
  • refractory lymphoma

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Hematology
  • Oncology


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