Transplantation of circulating progenitor/stem cells collected before and stored during administration of marrow-ablative antitumor therapy has restored sustained hematopoiesis for patients with a variety of malignancies. One of the most common diseases so treated is refractory or relapsed non-Hodgkin's lymphoma (NHL). Autologous peripheral stem cell transplantation (PSCT) often has been used rather than autologous bone marrow transplantation (ABMT) because NHL commonly involves the bone marrow, and because, in some situations, PSCT provides earlier engraftment than ABMT. Between July 1986 and September 1992, 170 adult patients with refractory or relapsed NHL were treated with high-dose therapy and PSCT at the University of Nebraska Medical Center (UNMC). With a median follow-up of 469 days for the evaluable survivors, the actuarial progression-free survival for 167 patients at 6 years after PSCT was 30%. High-dose therapy and PSCT for NHL patients has resulted in long-term progression-free survival and probably cure for some patients. The role of PSCT in this disease continues to evolve.
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