Distinctive Infectious Complications in Patients with Central Nervous System Lymphoma Undergoing Thiotepa, Busulfan, and Cyclophosphamide-conditioned Autologous Stem Cell Transplantation
We investigated the incidence of viral, fungal, bacterial, and parasitic infections observed in 57 patients with central nervous system lymphoma after thiotepa, busulfan, and cyclophosphamide-conditioned autologous stem cell transplantation (TBC-ASCT) and 79 patients with systemic non-Hodgkin lymphoma after traditional carmustine, etoposide, cytarabine, and melphalan-conditioned ASCT (BEAM-ASCT). Twenty of 57 (35%) TBC-ASCT patients had detectable viremia with human herpesvirus 6, cytomegalovirus, adenovirus, or BK virus, versus 9 of 79 (11%) BEAM-ASCT patients. Eight TBC-ASCT patients had clinically relevant viral infections (4 human herpesvirus 6, 2 cytomegalovirus, 1 adenovirus, 2 BK virus), versus 0 in the BEAM-ASCT group. Four TBC-ASCT patients suffered infections from either a fungal or parasitic pathogen versus 1 BEAM-ASCT patient. TBC was associated with greater risk of viral reactivation compared with BEAM, independent of other factors (hazard ratio, 4.42; 95% confidence interval, 1.9 to 11.3; P < .001). Prolonged lymphopenia and steroid use in the peri- and post-ASCT period did not explain these observed differences. The pathogenesis of these unusual infections in TBC-ASCT patients remains incompletely understood, and may involve more potent immune suppression with TBC conditioning. Clinicians should be aware of these differences in infection risk in TBC-ASCT patients, which more closely parallel those seen in allogenic hematopoietic cell transplantation recipients. New prophylactic approaches to help minimize these infections should be considered in this population.