Reduced-intensity conditioning compared with conventional allogeneic stem-cell transplantation in relapsed or refractory Hodgkin's lymphoma: an analysis from the Lymphoma Working Party of the European Group for Blood and Marrow Transplantation

Anna Sureda, Stephen Robinson, Carmen Canals, Angelo M Carella, Marc A Boogaerts, Dolores Caballero, Ann E Hunter, Lothar Kanz, Shimon Slavin, Jan J Cornelissen, Martin Gramatzki, Dietger Niederwieser, Nigel H Russell, Norbert Schmitz
Journal of Clinical Oncology 2008 January 20, 26 (3): 455-62

PURPOSE: To compare the clinical outcome in terms of nonrelapse mortality (NRM), relapse rate (RR), overall survival (OS), and progression-free survival (PFS) in patients with relapsed Hodgkin's lymphoma (HL) treated with reduced-intensity conditioning (RIC) or myeloablative conditioning followed by allogeneic stem-cell transplantation (alloSCT).

PATIENTS AND METHODS: A total of 168 patients with HL undergoing a first alloSCT (RIC, n = 89; myeloablative conditioning, n = 79) between January 1997 and December 2001 and registered in the European Group for Blood and Marrow Transplantation database were analyzed.

RESULTS: NRM was significantly decreased in the RIC group (hazard ratio [HR], 2.85; 95% CI, 1.62 to 5.02; P < .001). OS was better in the RIC group (HR, 2.05; 95% CI, 1.27 to 3.29; P = .04) and there was a trend for better PFS in the RIC group (HR, 1.53; 95% CI, 0.97 to 2.40; P = .07). RR was higher in the RIC group in univariate but not in multivariate analysis. The development of chronic graft-versus-host disease (GVHD) significantly decreased the incidence of relapse, which translated into a trend for a better PFS.

CONCLUSION: The lower incidence of NRM in the RIC group is encouraging, particularly because these patients experienced adverse pretransplantation characteristics more frequently. This analysis also indicates the existence of a graft-versus-HL effect correlated to the development of GVHD. Additional efforts to reduce the high RR seen in both groups of patients will be necessary to improve the modest PFS (31% v 27%) and OS (59% v 36%) for patients prepared with RIC or myeloablative conditioning.

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