The efficacy and toxicity of high-dose chemotherapy and autologous stem cell transplantation (HDCT/ASCT) were investigated for improving the outcomes of patients with relapsed medulloblastoma. A total of 15 patients with relapsed medulloblastoma were enrolled in the KSPNO-S-053 study from May 2005 to May 2007. All patients received approximately 4 cycles of salvage chemotherapy after relapse. Thirteen underwent HDCT/ASCT; CTE and CM regimen were employed for the first HDCT (HDCT1) and second HDCT (HDCT2), respectively, and 7 underwent HDCT2. One transplant related mortality (TRM) due to veno-occlusive disease (VOD) occurred during HDCT1 but HDCT2 was tolerable with no further TRM. The 3-yr overall survival probability and event-free survival rates ±95% confidence intervals (CI) were 33.3±12.2% and 26.7% ±11.4%, respectively. When analysis was confined to only patients who had a complete response (CR) or partial response (PR) prior to HDCT, the probability of 3-yr overall survival rates ±95% CI was 40.0±15.5%. No patients with stable disease (SD) or progressive disease (PD) survived. Survival rates from protocol KSPNO-S-053 are encouraging and show that tumor status prior to HDCT/ASCT is an important factor to consider for improving survival rates of patients with relapsed medulloblastoma.
Recurrence; Medulloblastoma; Transplantation, Autologous; Tandem; Hematopoietic Stem Cell Transplantation
Few studies exist that consider health-related quality of life (HR-QoL) in patients with multiple myeloma (MM) undergoing tandem autologous stem cell transplantation (TASCT). Eighteen patients with advanced MM who underwent dose-modified TASCT were enrolled in this study between March 2006 and March 2008. Patients <60 year old (10) received conditioning with melphalan 140 mg/m2 and patients who were ≥60 years (8) received 100 mg/m2. The median age was 57.5 years (range 35–69). We conducted the European Organization of Research and Treatment of Cancer (EORTC) QLQ-C30 and the QLQ-MY24 questionnaires via interviews at presentation, after each ASCT and thereafter every 3 months for 24 months. Mean global health measure improved from 3.44 before transplant to 4.50 (1=very poor, 7=excellent) at the second and subsequent follow-up visits (P<0.001) and the mean global quality of life score improved from 3.61 to 4.71 (P<0.001). Pain symptoms were reduced (P=0.001), and physical functioning improved (P<0.001) throughout the period of post-transplant follow-up. Our study showed that dose-reduced TASCT is well tolerated with low toxicity albeit the transient reduction in QoL during both transplants. Post-transplant follow-up showed significant improvement in overall HR-QoL that reflects positively on the overall disease-outcome. Furthermore, a sole focus on patient-survival does not adequately provide indication regarding the tolerability and effectiveness of a proposed treatment on the patient’s perceived quality of life. As clinicians, our primary concern should be toward patient-welfare as well as survival. Therefore, we should employ the tools of QoL in conjunction with overall survival in order to deliver the best possible patient outcomes. The EORTC-QLQ-MY24 is a practical tool in measuring QoL in myeloma patients.
High dose chemotherapy (HDCT) is a viable and potentially curative approach for patients with relapsed or refractory germ cell tumors (GCTs). However, no comparative data exist to define the optimal chemotherapeutic strategy, and little is known about the quality of life (QOL) of long-term survivors. Herein, we attempt to characterize the QOL in long-term survivors in patients receiving high-dose paclitaxel, etoposide, carboplatin and ifosfamide (TECTIC).
Details of the TECTIC regimen and clinical outcomes for the initial 33 patients have been reported. In the present study, we report the clinical data for 15 additional patients. Using the EORTC QLQ-C30 and the FACT-T questionnaires, we surveyed all patients who survived at least 4 years after HDCT.
Forty-eight patients were enrolled and 46 patients received protocol therapy. For all 48 patients, the median progression-free survival (PFS) and overall survival (OS) were 11.8 months (range, 5.8-NR) and 21.7 months (range, 12.7-NR), respectively. Seventeen patients were progression-free at a median of 123.2 months (51.6-170.2), and 6 patients remain alive following progression with a median OS of 68.8 months (47.6-147.1). Of the 23 surviving patients,18 were accessible and consented to telephonic interview. As compared to historical cohorts (Rossen J Clin Oncol 2009), survivors had a higher global health scale score (87.04 v 75.62; P=0.02) but a lower physical functioning score (68.89 v 92.66; P=0.0001) by the QLQ-C30 scale.
HDCT with the TECTIC regimen produces durable remissions in patients with relapsed or refractory GCTs with acceptable QOL in long-term survivors.
TECTIC; paclitaxel; high dose chemotherapy; autologous transplant; testicular cancer; quality of life; germ cell tumors
Metastatic breast cancer remains a major treatment challenge. The use of high-dose chemotherapy (HDCT) with rescue by autologous mobilized peripheral blood (MPB) is controversial, in part due to contamination of MPB by circulating tumor cells. CD34+Thy- 1+ selected hematopoietic stem cells (HSC) represent a graft source with a greater than 250,000-fold reduction in cancer cells. Here, we present the long-term outcome of a pilot study determining feasibility and engraftment using HDCT and purified HSC in patients with metastatic breast cancer. Twenty-two patients who had been treated with standard chemotherapy were enrolled into a phase I/II trial between 12/1996 to 02/1998, and underwent HDCT followed by rescue with CD34+Thy-1+ HSC isolated from autologous MPB. More than 12 years after the end of the study 23% (5/22) of HSC recipients are alive, 18% (4/22) free of recurrence with normal hematopoietic function. Median PFS was 16 months and median OS was 60 months. Retrospective comparison with 74 patients transplanted between 02/1995 and 06/1999 with the identical HDCT regimen but rescue with unmanipulated MPB show that 9% of patients are alive, and 7% without disease. Median PFS was 10 months and median OS was 28 months. In conclusion, cancer-depleted HSC following HDCT resulted in better than expected 12- 14 year PFS and OS in a cohort of metastatic breast cancer patients. These data prompt us to look once again at purified HSC transplantation in a protocol powered to test for efficacy in advanced stage breast cancer patients.
The purpose of this study was to evaluate in a phase I-II trial whether low doses of recombinant human interleukin 2 (rHuIL-2) over a prolonged period of time are safe and effective in eradicating or controlling minimal residual disease in children with neuroblastoma given high-dose chemotherapy (HDCT) and autologous stem cell transplantation (ASCT). From January 1992 to July 1996, 17 consecutive patients, with either stage IV or relapsed neuroblastoma, were enrolled. Patients received rHuIL-2 after a median time interval (min-max) of 105 days (56-153) after HDCT and ASCT. The protocol consisted of 2 'priming' courses of rHuIL-2 at escalating doses administered intravenously at 72-h intervals, followed by 'maintenance' with 11 monthly and six bimonthly boosting 5-day courses administered subcutaneously on an outpatient basis. At April 1997, 7 out of the 17 patients had completed the treatment schedule, four had discontinued treatment because of toxicity and four because of relapse; the remaining two patients are still on treatment, having completed 15 courses. Expansion of T lymphocytes, together with an increase in both natural killer cells and in activated T lymphocytes was evidenced. After a median (min-max) follow-up time of 30 (16-64) months, 12 out of 17 patients are alive and well. Two patients relapsed and died 14 and 35 months after transplant. Three patients are alive after having relapsed at 41, 21 and 13 months. The actuarial 2-year event-free survival and overall survival are 67% and 92% respectively. Intermittent administration of low doses of rHuIL-2 given for a long period of time is well tolerated and seems capable of controlling minimal residual disease after HDCT and ASCT in children with high-risk neuroblastoma.
We performed a pilot study to determine the benefit of high-dose chemotherapy and autologous peripheral blood stem cell transplantation (HDCT/autoPBSCT) for patients with Ewing sarcoma family of tumors.
We retrospectively analyzed the data of patients who received HDCT/autoPBSCT at Korea Cancer Center Hospital. Patients with relapsed, metastatic, or centrally located tumors were eligible for the study.
A total of 9 patients (3 male, 6 female), with a median age at HDCT/autoPBSCT of 13.4 years (range, 7.1 to 28.2 years), were included in this study. Patients underwent conventional chemotherapy and local control either by surgery or radiation therapy, and had achieved complete response (CR, n=7), partial response (n=1), or stable disease (n=1) prior to HDCT/autoPBSCT. There was no transplant-related mortality. However, the median duration of overall survival and event-free survival after HDCT/autoPBSCT were 13.3 months (range, 5.3 to 44.5 months) and 6.2 months (range, 2.1 to 44.5 months), respectively. At present, 4 patients are alive and 5 patients who experienced adverse events (2 metastasis, 2 local recur, and 1 progressive disease) survived for a median time of 2.8 months (range, 0.1 to 10.7 months). The 2-year survival after HDCT/autoPBSCT was 44.4%±16.6% and disease status at the time of HDCT/autoPBSCT tended to influence survival (57.1%±18.7% of cases with CR vs. 0% of cases with non-CR, P=0.07).
Disease status at HDCT/autoPBSCT tended to influence survival. Further studies are necessary to define the role of HDCT/autoPBSCT and to identify subgroup of patients who might benefit from this investigational treatment.
Ewing sarcoma; High-dose chemotherapy; Stem cell transplantation
In this study, we investigated the clinical characteristics and treatment results of osteosarcoma during the past 7 years, and evaluated the role of high dose chemotherapy (HDCT) with autologous stem cell transplantation (ASCT).
Materials and Methods
We retrospectively analyzed the clinical data of patients who were diagnosed as osteosarcoma at our center from January, 2000 to December, 2007.
The 5-year overall survival and event-free survival of the patients were 72.6% and 55.9%, respectively. Seventeen (41.5%) patients showed disease progression during treatment or relapse after the end of treatment. The patients who had metastasis at diagnosis or who had a lower grade of necrosis after neoadjuvant chemotherapy showed decreased overall and event-free survival. Four patients received ASCT after HDCT, and 3 of them are alive without disease.
The patients who relapsed or had refractory osteosarcoma or who had metastasis at diagnosis or a lower grade of necrosis after neoadjuvant chemotherapy showed poor prognosis. HDCT with ASCT could be an alternative treatment option for these patients.
Osteosarcoma; Autologous stem cell transplantation; High dose chemotherapy; Pediatrics
Background: Circulating tumor cells (CTCs) are an independent prognostic factor in metastatic breast cancer (MBC) patients treated by conventional dose chemotherapy. The aim of this study was to determine the role of CTCs and CTCs undergoing epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT) in metastatic breast cancer. We used the platform of high-dose chemotherapy (HDCT) and autologous hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (AHSCT) to study the CTCs and CTCs with EMT.
Patients and methods: CTCs were enumerated in 21 MBC patients before apheresis and 1 month after AHSCT. CD34-depleted apheresis products were analyzed for CD326+ epithelial and Aldefluor+ cancer stem cells (CSC) by flow cytometry and were depleted of CD45+ cells and assessed for EMT-inducing transcription factors (EMT-TF) by quantitative RT-PCR.
Results: Patients with ≥ 5 CTCs/7.5 mL of peripheral blood 1 month after AHSCT had shorter progression-free survival (PFS) (P=0.02) and overall survival (OS) (P=0.02). Patients with apheresis products containing high percentages of CD326+ epithelial cells or overexpressing EMT-TF had shorter PFS. In multivariate analysis, low percentage of CD326+ epithelial cells and response to HDCT with AHSCT were associated with longer PFS, whereas lower CTCs after AHSCT was associated with longer OS. High CTCs, 1 month after AHSCT correlated with shorter PFS and OS in MBC patients undergoing HDCT and AHSCT, while CTCs with EMT and CSCs phenotype in apheresis products are associated with relapse.
Conclusion: Our data suggest that CTC and CTCs with EMT are prognostic in MBC patients undergoing HDCT followed by AHSCT.
metastatic breast cancer; circulating tumor cells; epithelial-mesenchymal transition; high-dose chemotherapy; autologous hematopoietic stem cell transplantation.
We assessed the feasibility and effectiveness of reduced-dose craniospinal (CS) radiotherapy (RT) followed by tandem high-dose chemotherapy and autologous stem cell transplantation (HDCT/autoSCT) in reducing late adverse effects without jeopardizing survival among children with high-risk medulloblastoma (MB).
From October 2005 through September 2010, twenty consecutive children aged >3 years with high-risk MB (presence of metastasis and/or postoperative residual tumor >1.5 cm2) were assigned to receive 2 cycles of pre-RT chemotherapy, CSRT (23.4 or 30.6 Gy) combined with local RT to the primary site (total 54.0 Gy), and 4 cycles of post-RT chemotherapy followed by tandem HDCT/autoSCT. Carboplatin-thiotepa-etoposide and cyclophosphamide-melphalan regimens were used for the first and second HDCT, respectively.
Of 20 patients with high-risk MB, 17 had metastatic disease and 3 had a postoperative residual tumor >1.5 cm2 without metastasis. The tumor relapsed/progressed in 4 patients, and 2 patients died of toxicities during the second HDCT/autoSCT. Therefore, 14 patients remained event-free at a median follow-up of 46 months (range, 23−82) from diagnosis. The probability of 5-year event-free survival was 70.0% ± 10.3% for all patients and 70.6% ± 11.1% for patients with metastases. Late adverse effects evaluated at a median of 36 months (range, 12−68) after tandem HDCT/autoSCT were acceptable.
In children with high-risk MB, CSRT dose might be reduced when accompanied by tandem HDCT/autoSCT without jeopardizing survival. However, longer follow-up is needed to evaluate whether the benefits of reduced-dose CSRT outweigh the long-term risks of tandem HDCT/autoSCT.
autologous stem cell transplantation; high-dose chemotherapy; late effect; medulloblastoma; radiotherapy
High-dose chemotherapy (HDCT) with autologous stem cell support has been studied in both the salvage and first-line setting in advanced germ cell tumor (GCT) patients with poor-risk features. While early studies reported significant treatment-related mortality, introduction of peripheral blood stem cell transplantation, recombinant growth factors and better supportive care have decreased toxicity; and in more recent reports treatment-related deaths are observed in <3% of patients. Two to three cycles of high-dose carboplatin and etoposide is the standard backbone for HDCT, given with or without additional agents including ifosfamide, cyclophosphamide and paclitaxel. Three large randomized Phase III trials have failed to show a benefit of HDCT over conventional-dose chemotherapy (CDCT) in the first-line treatment of patients with intermediate- or poor-risk advanced GCT, and to date the routine use of HDCT has been reserved for the salvage setting. Several prognostic models have been developed to help predict outcome of salvage HDCT, the most recent of which applies to both CDCT and HDCT in the initial salvage setting. Patients that relapse after HDCT are usually considered incurable, and additional therapy is provided with palliative intent.
chemotherapy; germ cell tumors; high-dose chemotherapy; stem cell transplantation; testicular cancer
Salvage chemotherapy followed by high dose autologous stem cell transplantation (HD-ASCT) is the standard of care for patients who have relapsed or refractory Hodgkin Lymphoma (HL). Few trials have had long-term follow-up post HD-ASCT in the ABVD era of treatment. We reviewed 95 consecutive patients who received HD-ASCT for relapsed or refractory HL following ABVD failure between 1990 and 2006 at the University of Rochester. Median follow-up for survivors was 8.2 years. All patients received HD-ASCT following up-front ABVD (or equivalent) failure. At 5 years, overall survival (OS) and event-free survival (EFS) were 54% and 37%, respectively. In total, 54 patients have died; 37 of these patients died directly of HL. Notably, there were 19 deaths > 3 years post HD-ASCT and 13 of these late deaths are directly attributable to HL. Furthermore, there were 51 documented relapses, 9 of which occurred >3 years post HD-ASCT. In contrast to other studies, we did not observe a plateau in EFS following transplantation. Patients appear to be at continuous risk of recurrence beyond 3 years after HD-ASCT. Our results emphasize the importance of long-term follow-up for both toxicity and recurrence, and have important implications in defining success of post-transplant maintenance strategies.
Hodgkin lymphoma; hematopoietic stem cells; late effects of therapy; relapsed and refractory disease; HD-ASCT
Anaplastic large cell lymphoma (ALCL) is uncommon in children, accounting for approximately 15% of all cases of childhood non-Hodgkin lymphoma. Despite many studies attempting new treatment strategies, treatment outcomes have not significantly improved, and the optimal treatment for pediatric ALCL has not been established.
The records of newly diagnosed ALCL patients at our institute between July 1998 and April 2013 were reviewed. We evaluated the general characteristics of the patients, chemotherapy regimens, overall survival (OS) rates, and event-free survival (EFS) rates.
Twenty-eight ALCL patients were eligible. The median age at diagnosis was 10.8 years. Lymph node involvement was the most common presentation (79%). CCG-5941, a multi-agent T-cell lineage chemotherapy, was the predominant treatment regimen (57%). The five-year OS and EFS rates were 88% and 69%, respectively. Stage, the presence of B symptoms, lung involvement, and bone marrow involvement were significant prognostic factors for EFS (P=0.02, 0.01, 0.01, and 0.02, respectively). Eight patients relapsed, and three died during the study period. Four of the eight patients who relapsed were treated with high-dose chemotherapy and autologous stem cell transplantation (HDCT-ASCT). Two of the four who had undergone HDCT-ASCT developed secondary relapses and were subsequently treated with allogeneic SCT or brentuximab.
We found that treatment outcomes with multi-agent chemotherapy in children with ALCL were similar to those of previous reports, and that relapsed patients could be salvaged with HDCT-ASCT or allogeneic SCT. A prospective, larger cohort study is warranted to define the optimal treatment for pediatric ALCL.
Anaplastic large cell lymphoma; Childhood; Prognosis; Relpase
Mantle-cell lymphoma (MCL) is an aggressive B-cell non-Hodgkin's lymphoma with a poor prognosis. We explored the feasibility, safety, and effectiveness of an aggressive immunochemotherapy treatment program that included autologous stem-cell transplantation (ASCT) for patients up to age 69 years with newly diagnosed MCL.
Patients and Methods
The primary end point was 2-year progression-free survival (PFS). A successful trial would yield a 2-year PFS of at least 50% and an event rate (early progression plus nonrelapse mortality) less than 20% at day +100 following ASCT. Seventy-eight patients were treated with two or three cycles of rituximab combined with methotrexate and augmented CHOP (cyclophosphamide, doxorubicin, vincristine, and prednisone). This treatment was followed by intensification with high doses of cytarabine and etoposide combined with rituximab and filgrastim to mobilize autologous peripheral-blood stem cells. Patients then received high doses of carmustine, etoposide, and cyclophosphamide followed by ASCT and two doses of rituximab.
There were two nonrelapse mortalities, neither during ASCT. With a median follow-up of 4.7 years, the 2-year PFS was 76% (95% CI, 64% to 85%), and the 5-year PFS was 56% (95% CI, 43% to 68%). The 5-year overall survival was 64% (95% CI, 50% to 75%). The event rate by day +100 of ASCT was 5.1%.
The Cancer and Leukemia Group B 59909 regimen is feasible, safe, and effective in patients with newly diagnosed MCL. The incorporation of rituximab with aggressive chemotherapy and ASCT may be responsible for the encouraging outcomes demonstrated in this study, which produced results comparable to similar treatment regimens.
The concept of using high-dose immunosuppressive treatment (HDIT) with autologous stem cell transplantation (ASCT) to treat patients with refractory rheumatoid arthritis has been provided by animal studies and anecdotal case reports. Over the past five years, an increasing number of patients with refractory rheumatoid arthritis have received HDIT with ASCT as an adjunct to intense immunosuppression. Here, we present a case of refractory rheumatoid arthritis in a 54-yr-old woman using HDIT with ASCT. Peripheral blood stem cells were mobilized with cyclophosphamide (4 g/m(2)) followed by G-CSF (5 microg/kg/day). Leukapheresis continued daily until the number of harvested progenitor cells reached 2 x 10(6) CD34+ cells/kg after CliniMax CD34+ positive selection. For HDIT, high-dose cyclophosphamide (total dose 200 mg/kg) and antithymocyte globulin (total dose 90 mg/kg) were administered and CD34+ cells were infused 24 hr after HDIT. The patient tolerated the treatment well but experienced an episode of neutropenic fever. She achieved an early dramatic improvement of joint symptoms during therapy. Fifty percent of improvement of rheumatoid arthritis by the American College of Rheumatology (ACR 50) preliminary definition was fulfilled during the 6 months following ASCT. Although further long-term follow-up is required, the patient's activity of arthritis has been stable since receiving HDIT with ASCT.
The aim of this study was to investigate the impact of a distal subtotal gastrectomy on the quality of life (QoL).
Materials and Methods
The QoL data of 126 patients were obtained on their 5th annual follow-up visit after a curative distal subtotal gastrectomy for gastric cancer (Group A). The QoL data of 130 age- and gender-adjusted healthy population were obtained from the individuals who visited the health screening center for a medical check-up (Group B). There were 42 women and 84 men in the study group and their mean age was 56.0±11.1 years. QoL was assessed using the Korean versions of the European Organization for Research and Treatment of Cancer (EORTC) QoL Questionnaire Core 30 (QLQ-C30) and QLQ-STO22.
The EORTC QLQ-C30 global health status and QoL scores of Group A and Group B were 63.9±22.7 and 61.3±22.1, respectively (p=0.361). Group A revealed a better score for emotional functioning (84.1±16.1 and 75.2±21.4, respectively; p<0.001), cognitive functioning (82.0±16.4 and 75.0±21.4, respectively; p=0.004) and fatigue (27.7±20.8 and 33.8±23.2, respectively; p=0.028). However, Group A revealed a worse score for nausea and vomiting (14.8±20.0 and 10.2±16.0, respectively; p=0.042), financial difficulties (14.8±22.9 and 7.1±16.1, respectively; p=0.002), reflux (16.7±17.7 and 10.1±17.0, respectively; p=0.003), eating restrictions (13.6±15.2 and 6.6±10.2, respectively; p<0.001) and body image (23.3±25.4 and 16.2±24.6, respectively; p=0.023).
The QoL of long-term survivors after a distal subtotal gastrectomy is still influenced by the surgery itself even though they are considered to be free of disease.
Stomach neoplasms; Gastrectomy; Quality of life
Novel agents (NAs) such as thalidomide and bortezomib have been administered in combination with autologous stem-cell transplantation (ASCT) to effectively treat multiple myeloma (MM). However, whether NAs perform better as induction treatments prior to transplantation, or as post-transplant maintenance therapies remains unclear.
We retrospectively analyzed 106 consecutive patients with MM who underwent ASCT within 1 year of diagnosis as first-line therapy.
Eighty-seven (82.1%) patients received NAs before ASCT, whereas 68 (64.2%) received NAs after ASCT. NAs were administered to each patient as follows: before ASCT alone (N=29, 27.4%), after ASCT alone (N=10, 9.4%) or both before and after ASCT (N=58, 54.7%). High-quality rates before and after ASCT were significantly higher for patients who received NAs as induction treatment compared to those who did not receive pre-transplant NAs. At a median follow-up of 37.9 months, the 3-year progression-free survival (PFS) and overall survival (OS) rates were 42.8% and 70.2%, respectively. The PFS and OS were significantly higher in patients with NAs as post-transplant maintenance treatment (P=0.03 and P=0.04, respectively), but not in those with NAs as pre-transplant induction treatment. The PFS of patients with NAs before and after ASCT was higher than that of the patients with NAs as induction therapy alone (P=0.05). Age, serum β2-microglobulin level, complete response after ASCT, and NA use post-ASCT independently predicted survival outcomes.
These findings suggest that integration of NAs post-ASCT could benefit patients with MM undergoing ASCT. Induction therapy using NAs also improves high-quality response rates before and after ASCT.
Multiple myeloma; Novel agents; Autologous stem cell transplantation; Induction and maintenance treatment
New developments in the treatment of patients with relapsed/refractory Hodgkin's lymphoma undergoing autologous stem cell transplantation are summarized including modern prognostic markers, the role of functional imaging, the role of newer drugs, different conditioning regimens, and maintenance therapy.
Despite the relatively high long-term disease-free survival (DFS) rate for patients with Hodgkin lymphoma (HL) with modern combination chemotherapy or combined modality regimens, ∼20% of patients die from progressive or relapsed disease. The standard treatment for relapsed and primary refractory HL is salvage chemotherapy followed by high-dose chemotherapy and autologous stem cell transplantation (ASCT), which has shown a 5-year progression-free survival rate of ∼50%–60%. Recent developments in a number of diagnostic and therapeutic modalities have begun to improve these results. Functional imaging, refinement of clinical prognostic factors, and development of novel biomarkers have improved the predictive algorithms, allowing better patient selection and timing for ASCT. In addition, these algorithms have begun to identify a group of patients who are candidates for more aggressive treatment beyond standard ASCT. Novel salvage regimens may potentially improve the rate of complete remission prior to ASCT, and the use of maintenance therapy after ASCT has become a subject of current investigation. We present a summary of developments in each of these areas.
Autologous stem cell transplant; Hodgkin's lymphoma; High-dose chemotherapy
We conducted a systematic review to compare the efficacy and adverse events of autologous haematopoietic stem cell transplantation (HSCT) following high-dose chemotherapy (HDCT) versus standard-dose chemotherapy (SDCT) in patients with locally advanced or metastatic non-rhabdomyosarcoma soft tissue sarcomas (NRSTS).
Patients were observed in hospital units specialised for cancer therapy.
The review evaluated 294 patients with 19 different subtypes of malignant NRSTS. The patients had a median age between 10 and 46 years (range 2–65) and were mostly men.
Primary and secondary outcome measure
The planned and measured primary outcomes were overall survival and treatment-related mortality. The planned and measured secondary outcomes were progression-free survival, grade 3–4 non-haematological toxicity and secondary neoplasia. Other secondary outcomes including disease-free survival, event-free survival and health-related quality of life were not reported.
We included 62 studies reporting on 294 transplanted patients. We identified 1 randomised controlled trial (RCT) with 38 transplanted and 45 non-transplanted patients and judged a low risk of bias. We further identified 61 single-arm studies with 256 transplanted patients. Overall survival in the RCT was reported not statistically significantly different between autologous HSCT following HDCT versus SDCT. The HR was 1.26 (95% CI 0.70 to 2.29; p=0.44) and the point estimates at 3 years were 32.7% vs 49.4%. Data from single-arm studies were used to extract data on adverse events. Treatment-related mortality was reported in 5.1% (15 of 294) transplanted patients.
Overall survival in patients with locally advanced or metastatic NRSTS was not statistically different after autologous HSCT following HDCT compared with SDCT in a single RCT with a total of 83 patients. No other comparative study was available. The proportion of adverse events among the transplanted patients is not clear.
The aim of this study was to identify risk factors associated with progression-free survival in patients with Ewing sarcoma undergoing autologous stem cell transplantation (ASCT); 116 patients underwent ASCT in 1989-2000 and reported to the Center for International Blood and Marrow Transplant Research. Eighty patients (69%) received ASCT as first-line therapy and 36 (31%), for recurrent disease. Risk factors affecting ASCT were analyzed with use of the Cox regression method. Metastatic disease at diagnosis, recurrence prior to ASCT and performance score <90 were associated with higher rates of disease recurrence/progression. Five-year probabilities of progression-free survival in patients with localized and metastatic disease at diagnosis who received ASCT as first-line therapy were 49% (95% CI 30 – 69) and 34% (95% CI 22 – 47) respectively. The 5-year probability of progression-free survival in patients with localized disease at diagnosis, and received ASCT after recurrence was 14% (95% CI 3 – 30). Progression-free survival rates after ASCT are comparable to published rates in patients with similar disease characteristics treated with conventional chemotherapy, surgery and irradiation suggesting a limited role for ASCT in these patients. Therefore, ASCT if considered should be for high-risk patients in the setting of carefully controlled clinical trials.
Autologous transplant; Ewing sarcoma; Progression-free survival
Lymphoma patients treated with autologous transplantation (ASCT) live an increasingly long life with the recent advancement in therapeutic modalities. This has resulted in an increase in the incidence of therapy-related myeloid neoplasms (t-MN), which is one of the leading causes of non-relapse mortality. Several observational studies have linked the development of t-MN after ASCT with the intensity and frequency of chemotherapy, particularly alkylating agents, use of total body irradiation (TBI), and peripheral blood progenitor cells. In addition, role of genetic factors is increasingly being identified. It is postulated that the use of chemotherapy prior to ASCT results in DNA damage of progenitor cells, mitochondrial dysfunction, and altered gene expression related to DNA repair, metabolism as well as hematopoietic regulation. Cytogenetic studies have shown the presence of abnormalities in the peripheral blood progenitor cells prior to ASCT. It is, therefore, likely that the reinfusion of peripheral blood progenitor cells, proliferative stress on infused progenitor cells during hematopoietic regeneration and associated telomere shortening ultimately result in clonal hematopoiesis and blastic transformation. Cytopenias, myelodysplasia, or cytogenetic abnormalities are common and can be transient after ASCT; therefore, only when present together, they do confirm the diagnosis of t-MN. Attempts to reduce the occurrence of t-MN should be directed toward minimizing the exposure to the identified risk factors. Although the median survival is few months to less than a year, studies have shown the promising role of allogeneic transplantation in select young t-MN patients without high-risk cytogenetics. In this review we will explain the recent findings in the field of t-MN in lymphoma patients that have implications for identifying the molecular and genetic mechanisms of leukemogenesis and discuss potential strategies to reduce the risk of t-MN in this patient population.
therapy-related myeloid neoplasms; myelodysplasia; acute myeloid leukemia; autologous hematopoietic stem cell transplantation; Hodgkin lymphoma; non-Hodgkin lymphoma
The role of high-dose therapy (HDT) followed by autologous stem cell transplantation (ASCT) in the treatment armamentarium of aggressive B- and T-cell non-Hodgkin lymphoma (NHL) is still a matter of debate. In the pre-Rituximab era, the PARMA study demonstrated the superiority of HDT/ASCT over conventional salvage chemotherapy in chemosensitive, relapsed patients. Subsequently, HDT/ASCT has become a standard approach for relapsed NHL. With the advent of Rituximab in the landscape of NHL, transplantation as part of first-line therapy has been challenged. However, no benefit in terms of disease-free or overall survival of HDT/ASCT over standard therapy was shown when Rituximab was added to both arms. Moreover, the superiority of HDT/ASCT over conventional salvage therapy in patients relapsing from first-line therapy including Rituximab was not confirmed. From these disappointing results, novel strategies, which can enhance the anti-lymphoma effect, at the same time reducing toxicity have been developed, with the aim of improving the outcome of HDT/ASCT in aggressive NHL. In T-cell lymphoma, few publications demonstrated that consolidation of complete remission with HDT/ASCT is safe and feasible. However, up to one-third of patients may never receive transplant, mostly due to progressive disease, and relapse still remains a major concern even after transplant.
Double high-dose chemotherapy (HDCT) was applied to 18 patients with highrisk neuroblastoma including 14 patients who could not achieve complete response (CR) even after the first HDCT. In 12 patients, successive double HDCT was rescued with peripheral blood stem cells collected during a single round of leukaphereses and in 6 patients, second or more rounds of leukaphereses were necessary after the first HDCT to rescue the second HDCT. The median interval between the first and second HDCT (76 days; range, 47-112) in the single harvest group was shorter than that (274.5 days; range, 83-329) in the double harvest group (p<0.01). Hematologic recovery was slow in the second HDCT. Six (33.3%) treatment-related mortalities (TRM) occurred during the second HDCT but were not related to the shorter interval. Disease-free survival rates at 2 years with a median follow-up of 24 months (range, 6-46) in the single and double harvest group were 57.1% and 33.3%, respectively. These results suggest that successive double HDCT using the single harvest approach may improve the survival of high-risk patients, especially who could not achieve CR after the first HDCT despite delayed hematologic recovery and high rate of TRM during the second HDCT.
To prospectively examine quality of life (QOL) of patients with early-stage breast cancer treated with accelerated partial breast irradiation (APBI) using high-dose-rate (HDR) interstitial brachytherapy.
Methods And Materials
Between March 2004 and December 2008, 151 patients with early-stage breast cancer were enrolled in a phase II prospective clinical trial. Eligible patients included those with Tis-T2 tumors measuring ≤ 3 cm excised with negative surgical margins, with no nodal involvement. Patients received 3.4 Gy bid to a total dose of 34 Gy. QOL was measured using the European Organization for Research and Treatment of Cancer (EORTC) QLQ-C30 version 3.0 and QLQ-BR23 questionnaires. The QLQ-C30 and QLQ-BR23 were evaluated pretreatment, 6-8 weeks, 3-4 months, 6-8 months, 1 year and 2 years after treatment.
The median follow-up was 55 months. Breast symptom scores remained stable in the months after treatment, and they significantly improved 6-8 months after treatment. Scores for emotional functioning, social functioning, and future perspective showed significant improvement 2 years after treatment. Symptomatic fat necrosis was associated with several changes in QOL, including increased pain, breast symptoms, systemic treatment side effects, dyspnea, and fatigue, as well as decreased role functioning, emotional functioning, and social functioning.
HDR multicatheter interstitial brachytherapy was well tolerated with no significant detrimental effect on measured QOL scales/items through 2 years of follow-up. Compared to pretreatment scores, there was improvement in breast symptoms, emotional functioning, social functioning and future perspective 2 years after treatment.
Breast cancer; brachytherapy; quality of life; partial breast
The feasibility and effectiveness of tandem high-dose chemotherapy and autologous stem cell transplantation (HDCT/autoSCT) were evaluated in children younger than 3 yr of age with atypical teratoid/rhabdoid tumors (ATRT). Tandem HDCT/autoSCT was administered following six cycles of induction chemotherapy. Radiotherapy (RT) was administered if the tumor relapsed or progressed, otherwise, it was administered after 3 yr of age. Tumors relapsed or progressed during induction chemotherapy in 5 of 9 patients enrolled; 3 of these 5 received tandem HDCT/autoSCT as a salvage treatment. One patient died from sepsis during induction chemotherapy. The remaining 3 patients proceeded to tandem HDCT/autoSCT; however, 2 of these patients showed tumor relapse/progression after tandem HDCT/autoSCT. All 7 relapses/progressions occurred at primary sites even in patients with leptomeningeal seeding. Toxicities during tandem HDCT/autoSCT were manageable. A total of 5 patients were alive with a median follow-up of 20 (range 16-70) months from diagnosis. Four of 5 patients who received RT after relapse/progression are alive. The probability of overall survival at 3 yr from diagnosis was 53.3% ± 17.3%. Our tandem HDCT/autoSCT is feasible; however, early administration of RT prior to tandem HDCT/autoSCT should be considered to improve the outcome after tandem HDCT/autoSCT.
Rhabdoid Tumor; Central Nervous System; Drug Therapy; Stem Cell Transplantation; Radiotherapy; Child
To investigate the impact of physician-assessed late toxicities on patient-reported quality of life (QoL) for nasopharyngeal carcinoma (NPC) patients with long-term survival.
A cross-sectional survey of QoL and late toxicities was conducted in 242 NPC patients with disease-free survival of more than 5 years after treatment. The QoL was assessed by the European Research and Treatment of Cancer Quality of Life Questionnaire (EORTC QLQ-C30). Late toxicities including neuropathy, hearing loss, dysphagia, xerostomia, and neck fibrosis were recorded based on the criteria of Common Terminology Criteria for Adverse Events version 4.0 (CTCAE v.4.0). The general linear model multiple analysis of variance (GLM-MANOVA) was performed to predict factors associated with the QoL.
In the multifactor model of GLM-MANOVA, of the five late toxicities of CTCAE scales, neuropathy, hearing loss, and xerostomia were observed to be significantly associated with the overall outcome of the fifteen QLQ-C30 scales. A statistically significant trend (p <0.05) was observed, indicating that NPC survivors with more severe neuropathy, hearing loss or xerostomia had a worse outcome on global QoL, all five functional scales, and a variety of symptomatic scales.
To improve QoL outcome for NPC survivors, the development of a modern radiotherapeutic technique should not only focus on reduction of the dose to the salivary glands, but also on anatomical structures that are involved in neuropathy and hearing loss.
Electronic supplementary material
The online version of this article (doi:10.1186/1471-2407-14-856) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.