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Saturday 01 October 2005

Chemotherapy with rituximab followed by high-dose therapy and autologous stem cell transplantation in patients with mantle cell lymphoma.

By: Thieblemont C, Antal D, Lacotte-Thierry L, Delwail V, Espinouse D, Michallet AS, Traulle C, Bouafia-Sauvy F, Giraud C, Salles G, Guilhot F, Coiffier B.

Cancer 2005 Oct 1;104(7):1434-41

BACKGROUND: The authors evaluated the efficacy of chemotherapy combined with rituximab followed by high-dose therapy (HDT) plus autologous stem cell transplantation in patients with mantle cell lymphoma (MCL). METHODS: This was a retrospective analysis of 34 patients who were treated in 2 departments of hematology, including 29 patients (85%) who received first-line treatment. Rituximab was administered as 4 injections just before harvest in 25 patients (73%) or simultaneously with chemotherapy in 9 patients (27%). HDT included total body irradiation in 26 patients (77%). RESULTS: After induction therapy, all patients except one reached a response: There were 14 (41%) complete responses (CR) and 19 (56%) partial responses (PR). Stem cell harvest was successful in all patients but 2, with a median number of 5.9 CD34-positive cells per 10(6)/kg. Three months after transplantation, 24 patients (71%) were in CR, and 7 patients (21%) were in PR. At 3 years from the day of transplantation, the estimated overall survival was 87%. With a median follow-up at 2.6 years, the estimated median time to disease progression was 3.4 years. Rituximab treatment before harvest did not delay hematopoietic reconstitution: The median time it took patients to recover absolute neutrophil count to > 0.5 G/L was 10 days. CONCLUSIONS: Chemotherapy combined with rituximab followed by HDT improved the overall survival and progression-free survival in patients MCL without adding toxicities.

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