Long-term disease-free survival after conventional dose salvage chemotherapy for relapsed or refractory non-Hodgkin's lymphoma (NHL) or Hodgkin's disease (HD) is rare. Intensive chemotherapy and autologous bone marrow transplantation (ABMT) is regarded by many as the treatment of choice. For lymphoma, eligibility for transplant is frequently restricted to cases with chemotherapy-sensitive disease or minimal tumour bulk. We evaluated the mini-BEAM regimen as further treatment for patients unresponsive to initial salvage therapy and thus ineligible for ABMT at our centre. Carmustine 60 mg/m2 I.V. day one, etoposide 75 mg/m2 I.V. days 2-5, cytosine arabinoside 100 mg/m2 I.V. q12h days 2-5 and melphalan 30 mg/m2 day 6 (mini-BEAM) was administered to 24 patients with lymphoma, 22 of whom were refractory to at least first-line salvage chemotherapy. Eleven had HD and 13 NHL. The complete response (CR) rate was 21% and the overall response was 59%. Febrile neutropenia occurred in 48% of treatment episodes. There were two treatment-related deaths. Thirteen patients underwent bone marrow transplantation (BMT), 11 received ABMT (8 HD, 3 NHL). Six patients did not achieve remission after transplant but 7 patients remain in continuous CR, with a follow-up of 6-17 months post-transplant. Consequently, 7 of 24 (29%) patients responded to mini-BEAM and many achieve long-term disease-free survival after BMT. Further evaluation of mini-BEAM as a salvage regimen prior to BMT is indicated.
- Refractory Hodgkin's disease
- Refractory non-Hodgkin's lymphoma
- Salvage chemotherapy
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cancer Research