BACKGROUND: For patients with relapsed or refractory diffuse large B-cell lymphoma (DLBCL), autologous hematopoietic cell transplantation (auto-HCT) is commonly used. After auto-HCT, DLBCL patients are often monitored with surveillance imaging. However, there is little evidence to support this practice.
PATIENTS AND METHODS: We performed a multicenter retrospective study of DLBCL patients who underwent auto-HCT (n = 160), who experienced complete remission after transplantation, and who then underwent surveillance imaging. Of these, only 45 patients experienced relapse after day +100 after auto-HCT, with relapse detected by routine imaging in 32 (71%) and relapse detected clinically in 13 (29%).
RESULTS: Baseline patient characteristics were similar between the 2 groups. Comparing the radiographic and clinically detected relapse groups, the median time from diagnosis to auto-HCT (389 days vs. 621 days, P = .06) and the median follow-up after auto-HCT (2464 days vs. 1593 days P = .60) were similar. The median time to relapse after auto-HCT was 191 days in radiographically detected relapses compared to 492 days in clinically detected relapses (P = .35), and median postrelapse survival was 359 days in such patients compared to 123 days in patients with clinically detected relapse (P = .36). However, the median posttransplantation overall survival was not significantly different for patients with relapse detected by routine imaging versus relapse detected clinically (643 vs. 586 days, P = .68).
CONCLUSION: A majority (71%) of DLBCL relapses after auto-HCT are detected by routine surveillance imaging. Overall, there appears to be limited utility for routine imaging after auto-HCT except in select cases where earlier detection and salvage therapy with allogeneic HCT is a potential option.
- Journal Article