Tumor load in patients with follicular lymphoma post stem cell transplantation may correlate with clinical course.

Department of Pathology, Medical College of Wisconsin, Milwaukee, WI 53226, USA.
Bone Marrow Transplantation (Impact Factor: 3.54). 09/2003; 32(3):287-91. DOI: 10.1038/sj.bmt.1704130
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT The purpose of this study was to evaluate if the tumor load, as determined by a real-time quantitative PCR (RQ-PCR) assay, correlated with the clinical course of follicular lymphoma patients after stem cell transplantation (SCT). Cryopreserved bone marrow and/or peripheral blood samples obtained at different time intervals after SCT from 11 patients (seven allogeneic, T-cell depleted/four autologous) were tested for tumor load, as defined by t(14;18) positive cells/total cells, using RQ-PCR. None of the six patients who remained in remission had samples with a tumor load >0.01% after SCT, although fluctuating tumor loads of </=0.01% were observed in three of these patients. In contrast, four of the five patients (three allogeneic/two autologous) with relapsed/progressive disease had increasing tumor loads of >0.01% after SCT (0/6 vs 4/5, P<0.02, Fisher's exact). Our results suggest that RQ-PCR measurable tumor load >0.01% after SCT may correlate with relapsed/progressive disease. Prospective studies with greater numbers of cases are indicated to better determine the critical tumor load that predicts poor outcome after SCT with RQ-PCR.

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