Rituximab as adjunctive therapy to BEAM conditioning for autologous stem cell transplantation in Hodgkin lymphoma

Brian D. Friend, Ibrahim N. Muhsen, Shreeya Patel, La Quisa C. Hill, Premal Lulla, Carlos A. Ramos, S. Ravi Pingali, Rammurti T. Kamble, Tami D. John, Baheyeldin Salem, Saleh Bhar, Erin E. Doherty, John Craddock, Ghadir Sasa, Mengfen Wu, Tao Wang, Caridad Martinez, Robert A. Krance, Helen E. Heslop, George Carrum

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


While high-dose chemotherapy followed by autologous stem cell transplantation (ASCT) leads to improved disease-free survival (DFS) for children and adults with relapsed/refractory Hodgkin lymphoma (HL), relapse remains the most frequent cause of mortality post-transplant. Rituximab has been successfully incorporated into regimens for other B-cell lymphomas, yet there have been limited studies of rituximab in HL patients. We hypothesized that adding rituximab to BEAM (carmustine, etoposide, cytarabine, melphalan) conditioning would reduce relapse risk in HL patients post-transplant. Here, we retrospectively review the outcomes of patients with relapsed/refractory HL who received rituximab in addition to BEAM. The primary outcome was DFS. Our cohort included 96 patients with a median age of 28 years (range, 6–76). Majority of patients (57%) were diagnosed with advanced (Stage III–IV) disease, and 62% were PET negative pre-transplant. DFS was 91.5% at 1 year [95% CI 86–98%], and 78% at 3 years [95% CI 68–88%]. NRM was 0% and 3.5% at 1-year [95% CI 0–3%] and 3-years [95% CI 0–8.5%], respectively. 25% of patients developed delayed neutropenia, with 7% requiring infection-related hospitalizations, and one death. We have demonstrated excellent outcomes for patients receiving rituximab with BEAM conditioning for relapsed/refractory HL. Future comparative studies are needed to better determine whether rituximab augments outcomes post-transplant.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)579-585
Number of pages7
JournalBone Marrow Transplantation
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 2022


  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Antineoplastic Combined Chemotherapy Protocols
  • Carmustine/therapeutic use
  • Child
  • Cytarabine
  • Hematopoietic Stem Cell Transplantation
  • Hodgkin Disease/drug therapy
  • Humans
  • Melphalan
  • Middle Aged
  • Neoplasm Recurrence, Local/drug therapy
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Rituximab/therapeutic use
  • Transplantation Conditioning
  • Transplantation, Autologous
  • Young Adult

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Transplantation
  • Hematology


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