Favorable outcomes in elderly patients undergoing high-dose therapy and autologous stem cell transplantation for non-hodgkin lymphoma
Lymphoma, Large B-Cell, Diffuse
Stem Cell Transplantation
High-dose therapy and autologous stem cell transplantation (HDT-ASCT) can offer potential long-term remission or cure in patients with non-Hodgkin lymphoma (NHL). Limited experience is available on the safety and efficacy of HDT-ASCT in elderly patients. This is a single-center, retrospective study examining outcomes of HDT-ASCT for 202 NHL patients, ages 60 years and older, between January 2001 and December 2012. Overall survival (OS) and progression-free survival (PFS) were analyzed according to age at HDT-ASCT, hematopoietic cell transplantation comorbidity index (HCT-CI), NHL histology, and remission status at the time of HDT-ASCT. The median age was 65 years (range, 60 to 74) and the majority had either diffuse large B cell lymphoma (n = 73, 37%) or mantle cell lymphoma (n = 69, 34%). One hundred and fifteen patients (57%) had high HCT-CI scores at the time of HDT-ASCT. With a median follow-up of 3.6 years (range, 4 to 11.9 years) for survivors, PFS and OS at 3 years were 60% (95% confidence interval [CI], 53% to 68%) and 73% (95% CI, 67% to 80%), respectively. Transplantation-related mortality (TRM) was 4% both at 100 days and at 1 year after HDT-ASCT. Age and HCT-CI score were not associated with OS or PFS, and high HCT-CI did not correlate with TRM. Seven patients (4%) developed secondary myelodysplastic syndrome or acute myeloid leukemia at a median of 35 months (range, 6 to 48) after HDT-ASCT. In this single-center cohort of elderly patients with NHL undergoing HDT-ASCT, this intervention was proven tolerable and effective, with results similar to those of historic controls in younger patients. Our data suggest that age alone should not preclude HDT-ASCT in elderly patients.