Carmustine replacement in intensive chemotherapy preceding reinjection of autologous HSCs in Hodgkin and non-Hodgkin lymphoma: a review
High-dose chemotherapy preceding autologous hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (auto-HSCT) is one treatment option for patients with Hodgkin (HL) or non-Hodgkin lymphoma (NHL). The most frequently used intensive chemotherapy is a combination of carmustine (BCNU), etoposide, cytarabine and melphalan (BEAM). However, BCNU is consistently in short supply, and there has been a recent dramatic increase in its cost, necessitating the utilization of conditioning alternatives. The busulfan-based conditioning regimen known as the busulfan-cyclophosphamide-etoposide (BuCyE) combination is the second most-studied conditioning regimen worldwide after BEAM, and it exhibits a benefit/risk ratio that is comparable to that of BEAM. In addition to these two combinations, the present manuscript also summarizes data reported for other conditioning combinations. Owing to the lack of prospective and comparative studies, a comparison of the toxicities and medicoeconomical profiles of these treatments is warranted to identify effective replacements for BCNU-based conditioning.