Autologous stem cell transplantation(ASCT) can cure up to 50% of patients with relapsed or refractory HD. However, for patients who relapse post ASCT or develop post transplant myelodsyplasia (t-MDS), standard chemotherapy options offer little chance of long-term disease free survival (DFS). The use of allogeneic stem cell (alloSCT) may provide a means of control of the HD through the immune mediated effects of an allogeneic approach and also be curative for concomitant t-MDS. While traditional alloSCT in HD patients was fraught with high treatment related mortality, a reduced intensity conditioning regimen may reduce upfront mortality while still providing long term DFS.

Between 11/00 and 1/04, fourteen patients underwent reduced intensity alloSCT at the City of Hope Cancer Center. Median age at alloSCT was 31years (range18–47). Median time from HD diagnosis to alloSCT was 36mos (range 3–123). Eleven patients had relapsed post ASCT and one post syngeneic transplant. One of the pts also had t- MDS. The median time from ASCT to alloSCT was 20 mos(range1–45). Ten pts received sibling alloSCT and four unrelated donor. The conditioning regimen consisted of Fludarabine 125mg/m2+ Melphalan 140mg/m2. All patients received a Cyclosporin(CSA) based graft versus host disease (GVHD) prophylaxis regimen; nine in conjunction with Mycophenolate Mofetil and three in conjunction with Methotrexate. Seven developed acute GVHD (3-GrIII-IV). Two patients died of GVHD. There was no other significant regimen related toxicity. Median length of followup for surviving patients is 55 mos. For eleven evaluable pts, one year OS and DFS are 77% (95%CI 49–100) and 58% (95%CI 25–91) respectively (figure 1). The pt with concomitant t-MDS also achieved a hematologic remission. In conclusion, reduced intensity alloSCT may provide a salvage for heavily pretreated patients with HD that have failed ASCT and who otherwise have a poor prognosis, and it can also provide a treatment for late secondary complications of transplantation such as t-MDS.

Author notes

Corresponding author