To evaluate autologous stem cell transplant (ASCT) in older patients with intermediate grade non-Hodgkin's lymphoma (NHL), the Mayo Clinic Rochester BMT database was reviewed for all patients 60 years of age and older who received ASCT for NHL between September 1995 and February 2003. Factors evaluated included treatment-related mortality (TRM), event-free survival (EFS) and overall survival (OS). Ninety-three patients were identified, including twenty-four (26%) over the age of 70 years. Treatment-related mortality (5.4%) was not significantly different when compared to a younger cohort (2.2%). At a median follow-up of 14 months (0.6-87.6 months), the estimated median survival is 25 months (95% confidence interval (CI) 12-38) in the older group compared to 56 months (95% CI 37-75) (P = 0.037) in the younger group. The estimated 4-year EFS was 38% for the older group compared to 42% in the younger cohort (P = 0.1). By multivariate analysis, the only factor found to influence survival in the older group was age-adjusted International Prognostic Index at relapse, 0-1 better than 2-3 (P = 0.03). Autologous stem-cell transplant can be safely performed in patients 60 years or older with chemotherapy sensitive relapsed or first partial remission NHL. The outcome may not be different from that of younger patients in terms of TRM and EFS.
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