Background: The use of autologous peripheral blood progenitor cells (PBPC) expedites hematologic recovery and reduces the costs of transplantation in comparison with autologous bone marrow; however, its efficacy in patients with Hodgkin's disease has been questioned. We evaluated the results of autologous PBPC transplantation in a population of unselected and uniformly treated patients with primary refractory or relapsed Hodgkin's disease. Patients and methods: Forty consecutive adult patients with primary refractory (n = 7) or relapsed (n = 33) Hodgkin's disease received high-dose BEAM (BCNU, etoposide, ara-C, and melphalan) followed by autologous PBPC infusion. Twenty-four patients (60%) received high-dose BEAM as outpatients. Consolidative radiation therapy was administered to 14 patients (35%). Results: Thirty-seven patients (92%) achieved a post transplant complete response. The 3-year progression-free survival (PFS) was 69%, and the 3-year overall survival (OS) was 77%, with a median follow-up of surviving patients of 28 months. Severe non-hematologic toxicities 'included gastrointestinal side effects (diarrhea 17%, mucositis 25%), and interstitial pneumonitis (15%). One patient died of acute transplant-related complications (mortality rate 2.5%). Strong predictors of poor PFS were chemoresistant versus chemosensitive/untested disease (actuarial PFS 89% versus 22%, P = 0.0000) and stage lIB-IV versus I-IIA at relapse/progression (86% versus 46%, P = 0.005). All five patients with elevated lactate dehydrogenase at the time of transplantation died of their disease. There was a trend toward worse PFS for patients receiving a higher number of CD34+ cells (≥ 11 x 106 per kg). Conclusions: High-dose BEAM chemotherapy with autologous PBPC transplantation is associated with low mortality and results in satisfactory PFS for patients with primary refractory or relapsed Hodgkin's disease. The subset of patients with progressive disease at the time of transplantation performs poorly and may benefit from alternative strategies.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Autologous peripheral blood progenitor-cell transplantation
- CD34+ cells
- High-dose chemotherapy
- Hodgkin's disease