In a nutshell
This study looked at the effectiveness of treating elderly lymphoma patients with autologous stem cell transplantation. The study concluded that autologous stem cell transplantation should be considered on an individual basis, and age should not automatically disqualify elderly patients.
Patients with lymphoma who relapse after first line chemotherapy can undergo different types of treatments. One of these second line treatment options is autologous stem cell transplantation (auto-SCT; using stem cells from the patient’s own body). For elderly patients, auto-SCT may not be an option. There is the concern that elderly patients may be two frail for auto-SCT, or that will not respond to the treatment or will experience too many side effects.
More research is needed to determine if auto-SCT is a safe and effective treatment for elderly lymphoma patients.
Methods & findings
The medical records of 107 patients were reviewed. 62 patients had diffuse large B-cell lymphoma. 11 patients had mantle cell lymphoma. 7 patients had follicular lymphoma. 21 patients had other types of non-Hodgkin lymphoma. 6 patients had Hodgkin's lymphoma. All patients were 70 years old or older. The average length of follow up after auto-SCT was 20 months.
It took an average of 10 days after auto-SCT for patients to reach a normal white blood cell (neutrophil) count. It took an average of 12 days for patients to reach a normal platelet (blood components involved in blood clotting) count.
The 2-year progression free survival rate (time from auto-SCT to disease progression) was 58%. The 2-year survival rate (time from auto-SCT to death from any cause) was 65%.
Common side effects of auto-SCT were neutropenic fever (a fever as well as few white blood cells), a swelling of the mucous lining of the mouth and intestines (mucositis), and other gastrointestinal problems. 25 patients experienced a serious infection. 7 patients experienced kidney problems due to treatment.
The bottom line
The authors concluded that autologous stem cell transplantation is a useful treatment option for elderly patients, and these patients should be considered for auto-SCT if they are otherwise healthy and eligible.
Published By :
Dec 28, 2017
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