Registry data show that use of allogeneic transplantation for non-Hodgkin's lymphoma, and to a lesser extent, Hodgkin's disease is increasing. Although no prospective randomized trials have been performed, most comparisons show a significantly lower relapse rate when allogeneic transplant results are compared to results of autologous hematopoietic stem cell transplantation. The lower relapse rate following allogeneic transplantation, as well as several other lines of evidence, support the existence of a graft-versus-lymphoma effect. Nevertheless, in most comparisons, the lower relapse rate following allogeneic transplantation is offset by higher transplant-related mortality. These results make it difficult to find situations where definite overall survival advantages associated with the use of allogeneic transplantation can be demonstrated. The use of low-intensity non-myeloablative regimens for allogeneic transplantation is attracting attention. It is hoped that this approach may harness a graft-versus-lymphoma effect with less morbidity and mortality than conventional allogeneic transplantation, but more data are required to assess the value of this treatment. (C) 2000 Harcourt Publishers Ltd.
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