Treatment-Resistant Hodgkin Lymphoma: Defining the Role of Autologous Transplantation

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Autologous hematopoietic stem cell transplant (AHCT) remains the current standard of care for patients with relapsed or refractory Hodgkin lymphoma (HL) after frontline chemotherapy. However, treatment paradigms for HL are rapidly changing with positron emission tomography–adapted therapy, as well as the incorporation of brentuximab vedotin and checkpoint inhibitors into frontline, salvage, and maintenance therapy for HL. Patients who relapse or are refractory to these novel agents are likely to have different responses and outcomes with AHCT than the 3-year event-free survivals of 50% historically reported with AHCT for patients failing conventional combination chemotherapy. This article reviews the current data on the efficacy of AHCT, pretransplant prognostic markers, pretransplant salvage regimens, peritransplant radiation therapy, and posttransplant maintenance therapy in classic HL. Future research should reexamine the efficacy, timing, risk factors, pretransplant salvage regimens, and maintenance approaches posttransplant in the era of brentuximab vedotin and checkpoint inhibitors for HL.

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