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Thursday 01 July 2004

A model of in vivo purging with Rituximab and high-dose AraC in follicular and mantle cell lymphoma.

By: Arcaini L, Orlandi E, Alessandrino EP, Iacona I, Brusamolino E, Bonfichi M, Bernasconi P, Calatroni S, Tenore A, Montanari F, Troletti D, Pascutto C, Regazzi M, Lazzarino M.

Bone Marrow Transplant 2004 Jul;34(2):175-9

We studied a model of in vivo purging with Rituximab and high-dose (HD) cytarabine in 14 patients with relapsed/refractory follicular lymphoma and two with refractory mantle cell lymphoma enrolled in a program of HD chemotherapy and autotransplant. After two courses of debulking immunochemotherapy with Rituximab, Vincristine and Cyclophosphamide, we used a combination of Rituximab, HD cytarabine and granulocyte colony-stimulating factor for peripheral blood stem cells (PBSC) mobilization. The median number of CD34+ cells collected was 14.69 x 10(6)/kg (range 5.74-73.2). Monitoring of peripheral CD19+ and CD20+ B cells prior to and throughout the purging period showed that a treatment with Rituximab, Vincristine and Cyclophosphamide results in a profound depletion of B cells in peripheral blood. B-cell depletion persists during mobilization with Rituximab and HD cytarabine allowing a collection of PBSC free of B cells (median CD19+ and CD20+ cells counts 0%). Of nine patients PCR positive for bcl-2 or bcl-1 in blood and marrow at the start of immunochemotherapy, all showed PCR-negative PBSC. In conclusion, in patients with indolent lymphoma, the concurrent administration of Rituximab and HD cytarabine is a safe and efficient method to obtain in vivo purged PBSC. Immunochemotherapy prior to mobilization produces B-cell depletion and seems to be a useful preparative step.

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