Background: The prognosis of patients with transformed follicular lymphoma (FL-t) is poor. The use of high-dose therapy (HDT) with autologous haematopoietic support was therefore evaluated as consolidation of remission. Patients and methods: Twenty-seven patients received high-dose cyclophosphamide and total body irradiation (cyclo + TBI) with autologous bone marrow (BM; n = 24) or peripheral blood progenitor cell support (PBPC; n = 3). BM was treated in vitro with anti-B cell antibodies and complement. Nineteen of 27 patients were treated in first stable remission following transformation. Eight other patients with a history of transformation were treated following a subsequent recurrence of follicular lymphoma (FL). Results: With a median follow-up of 2.4 years, 14 of 27 patients remain alive and in remission; five are alive and free of disease at more than four years. The median survival is 8.5 years. There were two 'early' treatment-related deaths of respiratory failure, and two 'late' deaths of myelodysplastic syndrome (MDS) in remission of lymphoma at 2.8 and 8.5 years. Seven of nine patients having had a recurrence underwent re-biopsy. In two, histology revealed FL, in five, transformed follicular lymphoma. One of the patients with recurrent FL is alive without further therapy, and two of five patients with recurrent FL-t are alive and in remission after further chemotherapy. Conclusions: It is appropriate to consider HDT for younger patients with FL- t in remission. Repeat biopsy should be considered for patients with recurrent disease. There is a risk of late MDS in patients undergoing this treatment.
- Autologous bone marrow transplantation
- Transformed follicular lymphoma
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