Non-myeloablative allogeneic haematopoietic cell transplantation for relapsed diffuse large B-cell lymphoma: a multicentre experience


  • Presented in part at the 49th annual meeting of the American Society of Hematology, December 8–11, 2007, Atlanta, GA.

David G. Maloney MD, PhD, Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, 1100 Fairview Ave N, MS D1-100, Seattle, WA 98109, USA. E-mail:


Patients with relapsed diffuse large B-cell lymphoma (DLBCL) who have failed or are ineligible for autologous haematopoietic cell transplantation (HCT) have a poor prognosis. We examined the outcomes of non-myeloablative allogeneic HCT in this setting. Thirty-one patients with DLBCL and one patient with Burkitt lymphoma received allogeneic HCT following 2 Gy total body irradiation with or without fludarabine. Median age was 52 years. Twenty-four patients (75%) had undergone prior autologous HCT. Disease status at HCT was complete response (14/32, 44%), partial response (9/32, 28%), or refractory (9/32, 28%). Cumulative incidences of acute graft-versus-host disease (GVHD) grades II–IV, grades III–IV, and chronic GVHD were 53%, 19%, and 47% respectively. With a median follow-up of 45 months, 3-year estimated overall (OS) and progression-free survival (PFS) was 45% and 35% respectively. Three-year cumulative incidences of relapse and non-relapse mortality were 41% and 25% respectively. In multivariate models, chemosensitive disease and receipt of ≥4 lines of treatment before HCT were associated with better OS. Patients with chemosensitive disease had 3-year OS and PFS of 56% and 43% respectively. Non-myeloablative allogeneic HCT can produce long-term disease-free survival in patients with chemosensitive relapsed DLBCL who have failed or are ineligible for autologous HCT.