We conducted a pilot study in 20 patients with high-risk or recurrent/refractory non-Hodgkin's lymphoma (NHL) using high-dose sequential chemotherapy (HDSC) and autologous hematopoietic cell transplantation (AHCT). After cytoreduction with standard salvage therapy, HDSC/AHCT was administered in 4 phases at 2- to 4-week intervals. Phase 1 consisted of cyclophosphamide 7 g/m2 followed by granulocyte colony-stimulating factor (G-CSF) at 10 microg/kg per day and leukapheresis upon recovery from white blood cell nadir. The hematopoietic cell product was enriched by Percoll gradient separation and purged with a B-cell or T-cell monoclonal antibody panel and complement. Phase 2 consisted of methotrexate 8 g/m2 with leucovorin rescue and vincristine 1.4 mg/m2. Phase 3 was etoposide 2 g/m2 with G-CSF 5 microg/kg per day. In phase 4, the preparative regimen of mitoxantrone 60 mg/m2 and melphalan 180 mg/m2 was administered followed by AHCT. The NHL histologies were diffuse large cell, follicular/diffuse mixed, small noncleaved cell, T-cell-rich B-cell, lymphoblastic, and peripheral T cell. The remission status was first partial remission (PR1; n = 1) or beyond first complete remission (post-CR1; n = 19). Of the 20 patients enrolled, 11 proceeded through all 4 phases. Nine were removed from the study after the first or second phase because of progressive disease (n = 5), poor hematopoietic cell mobilization (n = 1), excessive toxicity (n = 2), and chronic active hepatitis C (n = 1). Treatment-related toxicities in the remaining 11 transplant recipients were cardiomyopathy, hemorrhagic cystitis, persistent cytopenias, acute renal failure, abnormal liver function test results, and infectious complications. There were no treatment-related deaths. Eight of the 11 transplant recipients were alive, 6 without disease, at a median follow-up of 2.7 years. The estimated median 2-year event-free survival was 55%, and overall survival was 70%. We conclude that HDSC/AHCT in refractory/recurrent NHL is associated with considerable acute and chronic toxicities. Given the toxicity profile, efficacy data were not sufficiently promising to warrant further study.
View details for Web of Science ID 000090107100004
View details for PubMedID 11071261