Allogeneic transplantation for lymphoma.
Chakraverty R., Mackinnon S.
Historically, high levels of treatment-related mortality restricted the use of standard myeloablative allogeneic stem-cell transplantation to a minority of young and fit patients with lymphoma. Over the last decade, increasing numbers of patients with lymphoma have undergone allogeneic stem-cell transplantation using reduced-intensity protocols that are associated with lower toxicity and reduced transplantation-related mortality. Graft-versus-lymphoma effects contribute to the therapeutic effect in patients with indolent or Hodgkin's lymphoma. However, definitive evidence for efficacy of this strategy is lacking because most patients undergoing transplantation do so after failure of several lines of treatment, leaving no obvious comparator arm for randomized controlled studies. Nevertheless, encouraging results have been reported for selected patients for most lymphoma subtypes, with pretransplantation disease status emerging as the most important predictor of outcome. The major long-term toxicity is chronic graft-versus-host disease that contributes to ill health in a significant minority of survivors. In the future, risk-adapted trials that evaluate reduced-intensity allogeneic transplantation in patients with predicted poor outcomes with immunochemotherapy or autologous transplantation will be important in determining the role of this treatment.