Early Failure of Frontline Rituximab-containing Chemoimmunotherapy in Diffuse Large B-Cell Lymphoma does not Predict Futility of Autologous Hematopoietic Cell Transplantation.

Publication Type:

Journal Article

Source:

Biology of blood and marrow transplantation : journal of the American Society for Blood and Marrow Transplantation (2014)

Keywords:

2014, Clinical Research Division, July 2014

Abstract:

The poor prognosis of diffuse large B-cell lymphoma (DLBCL) patients relapsing within 1-year of initial diagnosis after first-line rituximab-based chemoimmunotherapy has created controversy about the role of autologous transplantation (auto-HCT) in this setting. We compared auto-HCT outcomes of chemosensitive DLBCL patients between 2000 and 2011 in two cohorts based on time to relapse from diagnosis. The early rituximab failure (ERF) cohort consisted of patients with primary refractory disease or those with first relapse within 1-year of initial diagnosis. The ERF cohort was compared with those relapsing >1-year after initial diagnosis (Late Rituximab Failure [LRF] cohort). ERF and LRF cohorts included 300 and 216 patients, respectively. Non-relapse mortality (NRM), progression/relapse, progression-free survival (PFS) and overall survival (OS) of ERF vs. LRF cohorts at 3-years were 9% (95%CI 6-13) vs. 9% (95%CI 5-13), 47% (95%CI 41-52) vs. 39% (95%CI 33-46), 44% (95%CI 38-50) vs. 52% (95%CI 45-59) and 50% (95 CI 44-56) vs. 67% (95%CI 60-74), respectively. On multivariate analysis, ERF was not associated with higher NRM (relative risk (RR) 1.31, p=0.34). ERF cohort had a higher risk of treatment failure (progression/relapse or death) (RR 2.08, p<0.001) and overall mortality (RR 3.75, p<0.001) within the first 9 months post auto-HCT. Beyond this period, PFS and OS were not significantly different between ERF and LRF cohorts. Auto-HCT provides durable disease control to a sizeable subset of DLBCL despite ERF (3-year PFS 44%), and remains the standard-of-care in chemosensitive DLBCL regardless of the timing of disease relapse.