Purpose: To determine the safety and efficacy of high dose cyclophosphamide, BCNU and etoposide (CBV) chemotherapy followed by autologous non-purged PBSCT in children with Hodgkin’s (HD) and non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma (NHL) who have either failed primary induction therapy or have experienced a first relapse.

Methods: At study entry, patients received 2–4 courses of reinduction therapy as determined by the local institution. When a CR or PR was achieved, G-CSF mobilized PBSCs were harvested and patients underwent autologous PBSCT after a preparative therapy of cyclophosphamide 6000 mg/m2, BCNU 450–300 mg/m2, and etoposide 2400 mg/m2. Patients were to receive a set dose of 5x106 CD34 cells/kg. Patients were followed for disease status and toxicities. 69 patients (38 HD, 31 NHL) were entered onto study between April 1998 and June 2002. Survival statistics were calculated as Kaplan Meier estimates.

Results: 41/69 (27/38 HD, 14/31 NHL) achieved a CR/PR at the conclusion of reinduction; 14 failed due to PD; 7 had SD; 7 were inevaluable. 38 patients (27 HD, 11 NHL) proceeded to autologous PBSCT. Overall 28/38 (20 HD, 8 NHL) of the transplanted patients survive and 21/28 (15 HD, 6 NHL) are progression free. The survival rates at 12 months and 24 months were 88%(±6) (HD 92%(±6), NHL 78%(±14)) and 73%(±10) (HD 76%(±11), NHL 65%(±22)), respectively. The rates of PFS at 12 months and 24 months were 65%(±8)(HD 72%(±9); NHL 46%(±17)) and 53%(±11) (HD 56%(±12); NHL 46%(±19)), respectively. 10 patients died after PBSCT. The causes of death were PD (N=5), infection (N=4), and toxicity (N=1). The first 17 patients received BCNU 450 mg/m2 and 8 of these experienced grade 3 or 4 pulmonary or renal toxicity. The dose was thus dropped to 300 mg/m2 and an additional 21 patients underwent PBSCT and 3 of these patients developed grade 3 or 4 pulmonary or renal toxicity. The incidence of grade 3 or 4 pulmonary of renal toxicity at 300mg/m2 was significantly lower than that at 450 mg/m2 (p=0.04, Fisher’s exact test).

Conclusions: For children with primary resistant or first relapsed lymphoma who achieve a CR or PR after reinduction, CBV preparative therapy followed by PBSCT for children with primarily resistant or relapsed lymphoma results in an acceptable survival but a lower PFS due to a high relapse rate following transplant. A BCNU dose of 300 mg/m2, but not a dose of 450 mg/m2 is well tolerated by these heavily treated patients.

Author notes

Corresponding author

Sign in via your Institution