Autologous transplant for relapsed follicular lymphoma: impact of pre-transplant rituximab sensitivity.

Publication Type:

Journal Article


Leukemia & lymphoma, Volume 56, Issue 1, p.92-6 (2015)


2015, April 2014, Bioinformatics Core Facility, Biologics Production Core Facility, Center-Authored Paper, Clinical Research Division, Flow Cytometry Core Facility, Research Trials Office Core Facility - Biostatistics Service, Specimen Processing Core Facility


Abstract Rituximab-refractory follicular lymphoma (FL) patients have limited options. Before the rituximab era, autologous stem cell transplantation (ASCT) was shown to improve outcomes in chemotherapy-sensitive, relapsed FL, but the impact of rituximab-sensitivity on these results is unknown. We analyzed 194 consecutive relapsed FL patients who underwent ASCT at out center and categorized them as rituximab-sensitive (RS, n=35), rituximab-refractory (RR, n=65), or no rituximab (NoR, n=94) if transplanted before rituximab was used. Progression-free survival at 3 years was 85% in RS and 35% in RR patients (P = .0004). Only rituximab-sensitivity was significant on multivariate analysis with improved OS (HR 0.24, P = .01) and PFS (HR 0.35, P = .006) in RS patients and increased relapse in RR patients (HR 2.11, P = .01). Pre-transplant rituximab-sensitivity is a strong independent predictor of post-transplant outcomes in relapsed FL, though one-third of RR patients achieved a PFS of over 3 years with ASCT.