In a nutshell
This study evaluated the safety and effectiveness of total lymphoid irradiation and anti-thymocyte globulin (TLI-ATG) conditioning before stem cell transplantation (SCT) in patients with lymphoma or leukemia. This study concluded that this regimen was well-tolerated and effective, especially for patients who had multiple lines of prior treatment.
Allogeneic stem cell transplantation (alloSCT) is one type of stem cell transplant. This procedure involves collecting healthy stem cells from a donor. Then, the healthy stem cells are introduced into the patient. A conditioning regimen is given first to the patient to get rid of any remaining cancer cells. This regimen typically involves high-dose chemotherapy. However, many patients are not good candidates for intensive conditioning regimens. This can be due to other existing medical conditions or age.
TLI-ATG is a new conditioning regimen that is less intense than conventional regimens. It combines radiation therapy with antibody therapy to get rid of cancer cells and prevent a complication called graft-versus-host disease (GVHD). GVHD occurs when the donated stem cells attack the patient’s healthy cells. It can be short-term (acute) or last a long time (chronic). The long-term outcomes for patients treated with TLI-ATG before alloSCT remain under investigation.
Methods & findings
This study had 612 patients with lymphoma or leukemia who underwent alloSCT. Patients were followed-up for an average of 6 years. One-third of the included patients had at least 3 other medical conditions (comorbidities). 56% of patients received an alloSCT from an unrelated donor.
Overall, 98% of all patients underwent alloSCT. 43% of patients were hospitalized within 100 days of the transplant. These were due to infection (20%) or low white blood cell count with fever (15%). 3% (16 patients) were hospitalized for short-term GVHD. 95% of all patients had successful engraftment (donated stem cells travel through the blood of the patients and begin making new healthy cells).
1 year later, the rate of mortality (death) not caused by a relapse was 9% of all patients. 1 year later, 14% of patients had short-term GVHD, and 22% of patients had long-lasting GVHD.
Of the 35 patients who had HL the survival rate four years later was 78%, with 49% of patients still alive without tumor growth or spread. After an average follow-up of 5 years, 69% of patients were still having no signs of cancer left.
The bottom line
This study concluded that TLI-ATG conditioning was effective and well-tolerated for patients with lymphoma or leukemia. The authors suggest that this regimen was particularly effective for patients who had multiple lines of prior treatment.
The fine print
The TLI-ATG conditioning regimen was associated with a high risk of relapse. Treatment approaches to reduce this risk remain under investigation.
Published By :
Aug 27, 2019
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