High-dose chemotherapy (HDC) and autologous stem cell transplantation (ASCT) are used as consolidation in first remission (CR1) in some centres for untreated, transformed indolent B-cell lymphoma (Tr-iNHL) but the evidence base is weak. A total of 319 patients with untreated Tr-iNHL meeting prespecified transplant eligibility criteria [age <75, LVEF ≥45%, no severe lung disease, CR by positron emission tomography or computed tomography ≥3 months after at least standard cyclophosphamide, doxorubicin, vincristine and prednisolone with rituximab (R-CHOP) intensity front-line chemotherapy] were retrospectively identified. Non-diffuse large B-cell lymphoma transformations were excluded. About 283 (89%) patients had follicular lymphoma, 30 (9%) marginal-zone lymphoma and six (2%) other subtypes. Forty-nine patients underwent HDC/ASCT in CR1, and a 1:2 propensity-score-matched cohort of 98 patients based on age, stage and high-grade B-cell lymphoma with MYC, BCL2 and/or BCL6 rearrangements (HGBL-DH) was generated. After a median follow-up of 3·7 (range 0·1–18·3) years, ASCT was associated with significantly superior progression-free survival [hazard ratio (HR) 0·51, 0·27–0·98; P = 0·043] with a trend towards inferior overall survival (OS; HR 2·36;0·87–6·42; P = 0·1) due to more deaths from progressive disease (8% vs. 4%). Forty (41%) patients experienced relapse in the non-ASCT cohort — 15 underwent HDC/ASCT with seven (47%) ongoing complete remission (CR); 10 chimeric antigen receptor-modified T-cell (CAR-T) therapy with 6 (60%) ongoing CR; 3 allogeneic SCT with 2 (67%) ongoing CR. Although ASCT in CR1 improves initial duration of disease control in untreated Tr-iNHL, the impact on OS is less clear with effective salvage therapies in this era of CAR-T.
- autologous stem cell transplantation
- indolent lymphoma
- non-Hodgkin lymphoma
- transformed lymphoma
ASJC Scopus subject areas