Biol Blood Marrow Transplant 2018 08 2;24(8):1602-1609. Epub 2018 Mar 2.
Department of Stem Cell Transplantation and Cellular Therapy, The University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, Texas.
We conducted a prospective phase 2 trial of gemcitabine, busulfan and melphalan (Gem/Bu/Mel) with autologous stem cell transplantation (ASCT) in patients with primary refractory or poor-risk relapsed Hodgkin lymphoma (HL) (ie, extranodal relapse or within 1 year of frontline therapy). The trial was powered to detect an improvement in 2-year progression-free survival (PFS) from a historical 50% using a BEAM regimen (carmustine/etoposide/cytarabine/melphalan) to 65%. We compared the study population with all other concurrent patients who were eligible for the trial but instead received the BEAM regimen at our center. No patient received post-ASCT maintenance therapy. The Gem/Bu/Mel trial enrolled 80 patients with a median age of 31 years, 41% with primary refractory HL and 59% with relapsed HL (36% extranodal relapses), and 30% with positron emission tomography (PET)-positive lesions at ASCT. The concurrent BEAM (n = 45) and Gem/Bu/Mel cohorts were well balanced except for higher rates of bulky relapse and PET-positive tumors in the Gem/Bu/Mel cohort. There were no transplantation-related deaths in either cohort. At a median follow-up of 34.5 months (range, 26 to 72 months), Gem/Bu/Mel was associated with better 2-year PFS (65% versus 51%; P = .008) and overall survival (89% versus 73%; P = .0003). In conclusion, our data show that Gem/Bu/Mel is safe, in this nonrandomized comparison yielding improved outcomes compared with a concurrently treated and prognostically matched cohort of patients with primary refractory or poor-risk relapsed HL receiving BEAM.