Purpose: To evaluate the outcomes in 65 consecutive patients with non-Hodgkin's lymphoma (NHL) undergoing high-dose therapy (HDT) and autologous transplantation based on initial marrow involvement and the presence or absence of minimal disease in the hematopoietic harvests. Patients and Methods: Patients with any history of histologic evidence of marrow tumor underwent autologous peripheral-blood stem-cell transplantation (PSCT), whereas others underwent autologous bone marrow transplantation (ABMT). Patients who underwent ABMT were further segregated retrospectively into two groups depending on whether there was evidence by cell culture and/or Southern analysis of minimal tumor in the marrow harvest. Results: Comparable proportions (58% to 60%) of patients in each of the two groups (PSCT and ABMT) achieved a complete clinical remission (CR) at 100 days. For patients who achieved a CR, the actuarial relapse-free survival rate at 5 years for PSCT patients who received a tumor-negative apheresis harvest was 64%, compared with 57% for patients who received a tumor-negative bone marrow harvest and 17% for patients who received a histologically negative but minimally contaminated bone marrow harvest. Lymphoma grade and phenotype were not significant predictors of outcome. Conclusion: The observation that survival was significantly better in the groups of patients who received tumor-negative harvests and worse for patients who received minimally contaminated harvests suggests that tumor cells, even at minimal levels, reinfused in the transplanted harvest are responsible for progression in a proportion of patients who achieve a CR following HDT, although other biologic characteristics of the tumor could also be important. A relatively good outcome can be achieved with HDT and PSCT, even in patients with a significant marrow tumor burden.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cancer Research