ABSTRACT: Autologous stem cell transplantation (ASCT) as first-line therapy for follicular lymphoma (FL) remains controversial. The multicenter study randomized 172 patients with untreated FL for either immunochemotherapy or high-dose therapy (HDT) followed by purged ASCT. Conditioning was performed with total body irradiation (TBI) and cyclophosphamide. The 9-year overall survival (OS) was similar in the HDT and conventional chemotherapy groups (76% and 80%, respectively). The 9-year progression-free survival (PFS) was higher in the ASCT than the chemotherapy group (64% vs 39%; P = .004). A PFS plateau was observed in the HDT group after 7 years. On multivariate analysis, OS and PFS were independently affected by the per-formance status score, the number of nodal areas involved, and the treatment group. Secondary malignancies were more frequent in the HDT than in the chemotherapy group (6 secondary myelodysplastic syndrome/acute myeloid leukemia and 6 second solid tumor cancers vs 1 acute myeloid leukemia, P = .01). The occurrence of a PFS plateau suggests that a subgroup of patients might have their FL cured by ASCT. However, the increased rate of secondary malignancies may discourage the use of purged ASCT in combination with TBI as first-line treatment for FL. This trial has been registered with ClinicalTrials.gov under identifier NCT00696735.
Blood 11/2008; 113(5):995-1001. · 9.90 Impact Factor