Allogeneic hematopoietic cell transplantation as curative therapy for patients with non-Hodgkin lymphoma: increasingly successful application to older patients
OPEN Biology of blood and marrow transplantation : journal of the American Society for Blood and Marrow Transplantation | 2 May 2016
TS Fenske, M Hamadani, JB Cohen, LJ Costa, B Kahl, AM Evens, PA Hamlin, HM Lazarus, E Petersdorf and C Bredeson
Non-Hodgkin lymphoma (NHL) constitutes a collection of lymphoproliferative disorders with widely varying biologic, histologic and clinical features. For the B-cell NHLs, great progress has been made due to the addition of monoclonal antibodies and, more recently, other novel agents such as B-cell receptor signaling inhibitors, immunomodulatory agents, and proteasome inhibitors. Autologous hematopoietic cell transplantation (auto-HCT) offers the promise of cure or prolonged remission in some NHL patients. For some patients, however, auto-HCT may never be a viable option, while in others their disease may progress despite auto-HCT. In those settings, allogeneic HCT (allo-HCT) offers the potential for cure. Over the past 10-15 years, considerable progress has been made in the implementation of allo-HCT, such that this approach now is a highly effective therapy for patients up to (and even beyond) age 75. Recent advances in conventional lymphoma therapy, peri-transplant supportive care, patient selection, and donor selection (including the use of alternative hematopoietic cell donors), has allowed broader application of allo-HCT to NHL patients. As a result, an ever-increasing number of NHL patients over age 60-65 years stand to benefit from allo-HCT. In this review, we present data in support of the use of allo-HCT for patients with diffuse large B-cell lymphoma, follicular lymphoma, and mantle cell lymphoma. These histologies account for a large majority of allo-HCT performed for patients over 60 in the U.S. Where possible, we highlight available data in older patients. This body of literature strongly supports the concept that allo-HCT should be offered to fit patients well beyond age 65 and, accordingly, that this treatment should therefore be covered by their insurance carriers.
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