Primary therapy for adults with T-cell lymphoblastic lymphoma with hematopoietic stem-cell transplantation results in favorable outcomes

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Controversy exists regarding the role of high-dose therapy followed by stem-cell transplant (SCT) in the treatment of T-cell lymphoblastic lymphoma (T-LBL). We conducted an intention-to-treat analysis of the strategy of SCT as definitive treatment of T-LBL.

Patients and methods

From July 1987 to March 2005, 34 adults with T-LBL were diagnosed and treated in British Columbia. Treatment, before planned SCT, consisted of a non-Hodgkin's lymphoma (NHL)/acute lymphoblastic leukemia hybrid chemotherapy protocol (28 patients) or a standard NHL chemotherapy regimen (six patients).


Median follow-up of the 23 surviving patients is 51 months (range 13–142 months). Twenty-nine proceeded to SCT (four allogeneic, 25 autologous). For all 34 patients, 4-year overall survival (OS) and event-free survival (EFS) are 72% and 68%, respectively. For patients proceeding to SCT, the 4-year OS and EFS are 79% and 73%, respectively. All patients who received allografts are alive without disease at 38–141 months since diagnosis. For patients who received autografts, the 4-year EFS is 69%. Bone marrow involvement was a significant prognostic factor predicting for a worse survival (P=0.02).


A treatment strategy for adults with chemosensitive T-LBL that includes planned consolidation with SCT in first response produces favorable long-term outcome.

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