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Gentler chemotherapy before stem cell transplant causes long-term remission of follicular lymphoma
Date:12/10/2007

and 18 were in complete remission.

All 47 achieved complete remission after receiving matched blood stem cells from donors. One patient relapsed at 18 months. After receiving a donor lymphocyte infusion, the patient began a continuous complete response at 24 months. The other patient relapsed at 20 months and was found to have graft failure. Since treatment with rituximab, this patient has been in complete remission for four years.

Seven patients died during the trial, none from follicular lymphoma, Khouri notes. The 40 remaining patients all remain in remission. Overall survival at six years is 85 percent and current progression-free survival is 83 percent.

Acute graft-vs.-host disease (GVHD) arose in 11 percent of patients. Another 51 percent had chronic graft-vs.-host disease. GVHD was treated with immunosuppressive therapy. Khouri notes that only five patients in the study group remain on immunosuppressive therapy.

Long-term follow-up also allowed researchers to thoroughly gauge side effects, or toxicity, of the non-myeloablative approach. "It reduces toxicity significantly," Khouri says. "Even elderly patients can have this done."

Patients received fludarabine, cyclophosphamide and rituximab for three days before transplantation. Tacrolimus and methotrexate were used to prevent graft-vs.-host disease.

Follicular lymphoma is a Non-Hodgkin lymphoma, with about 12,000 new cases diagnosed annually.


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Contact: Scott Merville
sdmervil@mdanderson.org
713-516-4855
University of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer Center
Source:Eurekalert

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