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Tuesday 01 April 2003

Reduced-intensity rituximab-BEAM-CAMPATH allogeneic haematopoietic stem cell transplantation for follicular lymphoma is feasible and induces durable molecular remissions.

By: Ho AY, Devereux S, Mufti GJ, Pagliuca A.

Bone Marrow Transplant 2003 Apr;31(7):551-7

The indolent non-Hodgkin's lymphomas are theoretically curable through allogeneic haematopoietic stem cell transplantation (allo-HSCT). The applicability of standard conditioning allo-HSCT is, however, restricted by its toxicity. Recently, reduced-intensity conditioning regimens have demonstrated efficacy with significantly reduced early morbidity and mortality. We examined the safety and efficacy of rituximab-BEAM-CAMPATH as reduced-intensity conditioning for allo-HSCT in follicular lymphomas. Minimal residual disease was assessed by polymerase chain reaction (PCR) for bcl-2/IgH translocations, and chimerism by X,Y-FISH or PCR amplification of short tandem repeat sequences. At a median follow-up of 521 days (371-719), four of five patients were alive and three were in complete molecular remission. Three patients required pre-emptive treatment for CMV reactivation. One succumbed to a perforated viscus and one had slowly progressive disease. A graft-versus-lymphoma effect was demonstrable and quantitative PCR for bcl-2/IgH may allow better accuracy in scheduling post-allograft rituximab and/or donor lymphocyte infusions. Although follow-up is short, reduced-intensity allo-HSCT with BEAM-CAMPATH conditioning appears to be safe, effective in inducing a molecular remission and is potentially curative. Further recruitment and much longer follow-up will be necessary to determine if this impacts favourably upon disease-free and overall survival.

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