• chemotherapy sensitivity;
  • hematopoietic stem cell transplantation;
  • non-Hodgkin lymphoma;
  • nonmyeloablative;
  • reduced-intensity



Chemotherapy sensitivity, defined simply as at least a partial response to chemotherapy, is an important outcome predictor for non-Hodgkin lymphoma (NHL) patients undergoing reduced-intensity allogeneic hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (allo-HCT). The authors hypothesized that further differentiation of chemotherapy sensitivity by specific response, complete remission (CR) versus partial remission (PR) versus stable disease (SD) versus progression of disease (PD), correlates with post-transplant outcomes.


The impact of pretransplant and early (28 days) post-transplant disease response on transplant outcomes was analyzed in 63 NHL patients treated with reduced-intensity allo-HCT.


The 3-year event-free survival (EFS) and overall survival (OS) (median potential follow-up after reduced-intensity allo-HCT = 58 months) for all patients was 37% and 47%, respectively. The 3-year EFS based on pretransplant response was: CR = 50%; PR = 66%; SD = 18%; no patient with PD pretransplant reached 3-year follow-up. The 3-year OS based on pretransplant response was: CR = 63%; PR = 69%; SD = 45%. The 3-year EFS based on post-transplant response was: CR = 57%; PR = 32%; SD = 33%; no patient with PD post-transplant reached 3-year follow-up. The 3-year OS based on post-transplant response was: CR = 65%; PR = 43%; SD = 50%. In multivariate analyses, pretransplant response was the best predictor of EFS (P < .0001). Pretransplant response (P < .0001) and age (P = .0035) were jointly associated with OS.


These data suggest that NHL patients with pretransplant SD, generally considered inappropriate candidates, may benefit from reduced-intensity allo-HCT, and patients with pretransplant PD should only receive this therapy in clinical trials. Cancer 2010. © 2010 American Cancer Society.