ABSTRACT: BACKGROUND: Although rituximab added to CHOP (cyclophosphamide/doxorubicin/vincristine/prednisone) is the standard chemotherapy for untreated DLBCL, its therapeutic effect is limited in younger patients with high-intermediate risk or high-risk disease according to the age-adjusted international prognostic index. In fact, the efficacy and safety of HDT plus rituximab followed by ASCT for such patients remain unclear. PATIENTS AND METHODS: We retrospectively investigated the safety and effectiveness of HDT/ASCT in patients with untreated DLBCL. Twenty-two patients, aged 60 years and younger, with untreated DLBCL (classified as high-intermediate [n = 14 (64%)] or high [n = 8 (32%)] risk) underwent upfront HDT/ASCT between January 2004 and December 2008, achieving either a complete response (CR; n = 15 (68%)) or a partial response (PR; n = 7 (32%)). RESULTS: The 5-year overall survival rate was 81.0% and the progression-free survival rate was 73.0%, with no significant difference between risk groups based on the international prognostic index. The most common nonhematologic toxicity was febrile neutropenia [n = 9 (41%)]. The cause of all 3 fatalities was exacerbation of the underlying disease, and no treatment-related mortality was observed. No variables with a significant influence on overall survival were identified, but a correlation of the treatment response before transplanation with progression-free survival was suggested (CR vs. PR: 92% vs. 30%, P = .002). CONCLUSION: These results suggest that adding rituximab to upfront HDT/ASCT is feasible and can improve the outcome in untreated patients with poor-prognosis DLBCL. In the future, upfront HDT/ASCT should be more extensively evaluated in clinical trials.
Clinical lymphoma, myeloma & leukemia 06/2013;