In a nutshell
This study looked at the outcomes of autologous stem cell transplantation (ASCT) to treat recurrent classical Hodgkin’s lymphoma (cHL). This study concluded that ASCT is effective, with patients who responded after the transplant having the best outcomes.
cHL is usually treated with chemotherapy and radiation. After initial treatment, the cancer may come back (relapse) or become refractory (stop responding to treatment). Relapsed or refractory cHL can be difficult to treat.
ASCT is one treatment option. First, healthy stem cells are collected from the patient's blood or bone marrow. Then, high-dose chemotherapy is given to get rid of any remaining cancer cells. After chemotherapy, the stem cells are given back to the patient. These stem cells help form new healthy blood cells. ASCT outcomes for patients with relapsed or refractory cHL remain under investigation.
Methods & findings
This study followed 115 patients with cHL that came back (109 patients) or did not respond to treatment (6 patients). In this study, patients had high-dose chemotherapy followed by ASCT. Patients were followed for an average of 72 months.
After chemotherapy, 38.3% (44 patients) had a complete response (no signs of cancer). 43.5% (50 patients) had a partial response (tumor shrinkage). After the transplant, 61.7% of patients had a complete response.
Overall, 78.7% of all patients were still alive 5 years later. 53% of all patients survived without tumor growth or spread.
Among patients who had a complete response, 69.2% were still alive 5 years later without progression. Having a complete response significantly lowered mortality risk by 80.3%
Among patients who had tumor shrinkage, 54.2% were still alive 5 years later without progression. Having a partial response was also associated with a lower mortality risk (by 43.3%).
Among patients who did not respond to ASCT, 18.5% were still alive 5 years later without progression.
The bottom line
This study found that ASCT is an effective treatment for patients with relapsed cHL. Patients who responded to high-dose chemotherapy had the best transplant outcomes.
The fine print
This study was conducted in China. Because targeted therapies were not approved in China until 2018, treatment for relapsed cHL may be different from other countries. Also, this study did not compare ASCT to other treatments.
Published By :
Annals of Hematology
Jan 24, 2020
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