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Although rituximab-based high-dose therapy is frequently used in diffuse large B cell lymphoma (DLBCL) patients undergoing autologous hematopoietic cell transplantation (auto-HCT), data supporting the benefits are not available. Herein, we report the impact of rituximab-based conditioning on auto-HCT outcomes in patients who have DLBCL. Using the Center for International Blood and Marrow Transplant Research (CIBMTR) registry, 862 adult DLBCL patients undergoing auto-HCT between 2003 and 2017 using BEAM (BCNU, etoposide, cytarabine, melphalan) conditioning regimen were included. All patients received frontline rituximab-containing chemoimmunotherapy and had chemosensitive disease pre-HCT. Early chemoimmunotherapy failure was defined as not achieving complete remission (CR) after frontline chemoimmunotherapy or relapse within 1 year of initial diagnosis. The primary outcome was overall survival (OS). The study cohort was divided into 2 groups: BEAM (n = 667) and R-BEAM (n = 195). On multivariate analysis, no significant difference was seen in OS (P = .83) or progression-free survival (PFS) (P = .61) across the 2 cohorts. No significant association between the use of rituximab and risk of relapse (P = .15) or nonrelapse mortality (P = .12) was observed. Variables independently associated with lower OS included older age at auto-HCT (P < .001), absence of CR at auto-HCT (P < .001) and early chemoimmunotherapy failure (P < .001). Older age (P < .0002) and non-CR pre-HCT (P < .0001) were also associated with inferior PFS. There was no significant difference in early infectious complications between the 2 cohorts. In this large registry analysis of DLBCL patients undergoing auto-HCT, the addition of rituximab to the BEAM conditioning regimen had no impact on transplantation outcomes. Older age, absence of CR pre auto-HCT, and early chemoimmunotherapy failure were associated with inferior survival. © 2020 American Cancer Society.


Deepa Jagadeesh, Navneet S Majhail, Yizeng He, Kwang W Ahn, Carlos Litovich, Sairah Ahmed, Mahmoud Aljurf, Ulrike Bacher, Sherif M Badawy, Nelli Bejanyan, Mitchell Cairo, Jan Cerny, Narendranath Epperla, Nosha Farhadfar, César O Freytes, Robert Peter Gale, Bradley Haverkos, Nasheed Hossain, David Inwards, Rammurti T Kamble, Vaishalee P Kenkre, Hillard M Lazarus, Aleksandr Lazaryan, Lazaros Lekakis, Matthew Mei, Hemant S Murthy, Alberto Mussetti, Sunita Nathan, Taiga Nishihori, Richard F Olsson, Praveen Ramakrishnan Geethakumari, Bipin N Savani, Jean A Yared, Timothy S Fenske, Mohamed A Kharfan-Dabaja, Anna Sureda, Mehdi Hamadani. Outcomes of rituximab-BEAM versus BEAM conditioning regimen in patients with diffuse large B cell lymphoma undergoing autologous transplantation. Cancer. 2020 May 15;126(10):2279-2287

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PMID: 32049359

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