The infusion of autograft absolute lymphocyte count (A-ALC) and autograft natural killer cells (A-NKC) are prognostic factors for overall survival (OS) and PFS in non-Hodgkin's lymphoma (NHL) patients undergoing autologous peripheral blood hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (APBHSCT). The human monocytic CD14 + HLA-DR DIM cells are associated with worse prognosis in NHL. Thus, we investigated whether the autograft A-NKC/A-CD14 + HLA-DR DIM ratio predicts survival in NHL. In a total of 111 NHL patients, we analyzed apheresis collection samples for the content of A-NKC and A-CD14 + HLA-DR DIM. With a median follow-up of 57.2 months (range: 2.1-84.6 months), patients with an A-NKC/A-CD14 + HLA-DR DIM ratio of < 3/40.29 experienced superior OS (5-year OS rates of 84% (95% confidence interval (CI), 72-91%) vs 48% (95% CI, 34-62%), P<0.0002, respectively) and PFS (5-year PFS rates of 59% (95% CI, 47-71%) vs 32% (95% CI, 20-48%), P<0.002, respectively). Multivariate analysis revealed that A-NKC/A-CD14 + HLA-DR DIM ratio was an independent predictor for PFS (hazard ratio (HR)=0.56, 95% CI, 0.32-0.96, P<0.03) and OS (HR=0.34, 95% CI, 0.16-0.68, P<0.002). The A-NKC/A-CD14 + HLA-DR DIM ratio provides a platform to target specific autograft immune effector cells to improve clinical outcomes in NHL patients undergoing APBHSCT.
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