Biol Blood Marrow Transplant 2018 06 11;24(6):1163-1171. Epub 2017 Dec 11.
Center for International Blood and Marrow Transplant Research, Department of Medicine, Medical College of Wisconsin, Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Electronic address:
Patients with follicular lymphoma (FL) experiencing early therapy failure (ETF) within 2 years of frontline chemoimmunotherapy have poor overall survival (OS). We analyzed data from the Center for International Blood and Marrow Transplant Research (CIBMTR) and the National LymphoCare Study (NLCS) to determine whether autologous hematopoietic cell transplant (autoHCT) can improve outcomes in this high-risk FL subgroup. ETF was defined as failure to achieve at least partial response after frontline chemoimmunotherapy or lymphoma progression within 2 years of frontline chemoimmunotherapy. We identified 2 groups: the non-autoHCT cohort (patients from the NLCS with ETF not undergoing autoHCT) and the autoHCT cohort (CIBMTR patients with ETF undergoing autoHCT). All patients received rituximab-based chemotherapy as frontline treatment; 174 non-autoHCT patients and 175 autoHCT patients were identified and analyzed. There was no difference in 5-year OS between the 2 groups (60% versus 67%, respectively; P = .16). A planned subgroup analysis showed that patients with ETF receiving autoHCT soon after treatment failure (≤1 year of ETF; n = 123) had higher 5-year OS than those without autoHCT (73% versus 60%, P = .05). On multivariate analysis, early use of autoHCT was associated with significantly reduced mortality (hazard ratio, .63; 95% confidence interval, .42 to .94; P = .02). Patients with FL experiencing ETF after frontline chemoimmunotherapy lack optimal therapy. We demonstrate improved OS when receiving autoHCT within 1 year of treatment failure. Results from this unique collaboration between the NLCS and CIBMTR support consideration of early consolidation with autoHCT in select FL patients experiencing ETF.