Sixty patients with Hodgkin's disease, refractory to or at first recurrence after chemotherapy, received cytoreductive therapy followed by high-dose etoposide, cyclophosphamide and either total body irradiation or carmustine and autografting (median follow-up, 3.6 years; range, 1.1 to 7.5 years). A matched conventional salvage group of 103 patients was selected from patients treated at Stanford University Medical Center between January 1976 and January 1989 (median follow-up, 10.3 years; range, 3.0 to 15.7 years). Overall survival (OS), event-free survival (EFS), and freedom from progression (FFP) at 4 years follow-up favored patients who received high-dose therapy compared with conventional salvage treatment (OS: 54% v 47%, P = .25; EFS: 53% v 27%, P < .01; FFP: 62% v 32%, P < .01). In Cox regression analysis, response to cytoreductive or salvage therapy and B symptoms at relapse were the most important predictors of OS. The use of high-dose therapy at relapse, a longer duration of remission, and favorable response to cytoreductive or salvage therapy were most predictive of superior FFP and EFS. These data from a single institution comparing conventional and high-dose therapy in matched patients demonstrate an advantage for high-dose therapy and autografting in the sustained control of Hodgkin's disease. As with primary therapy, it is difficult to demonstrate a statistically significant survival advantage, despite an apparently superior cure rate. However, patients failing induction therapy or relapsing within 1 year benefited significantly from high-dose therapy by all outcome measures (OS, EFS, FFP). As the transplant-related mortality rates decline in Hodgkin's disease, it is predicted that cure rates and late effects will become ultimate determinants of the success of high-dose therapy and autografting.
View details for Web of Science ID A1997WG07300009
View details for PubMedID 9028312