Is myeloablative dose intensity necessary in allogeneic hematopoietic cell transplantation for lymphomas?

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Abstract

The advent of novel immunotherapy and tyrosine kinase inhibitors has ushered a new era in the treatment of Hodgkin and non-Hodgkin lymphomas. Allogeneic hematopoietic cell transplantation remains, however, a vital component in the management and potential cure of lymphomas, especially in the relapsed setting. Considering the biological and clinical heterogeneity of various subtypes of lymphomas, the optimal intensity of conditioning regimens remains controversial. Reduced intensity conditioning regimens have broadened applicability of the procedure to older and frail patients. Observational studies suggest that although reduced intensity allografting is associated with higher risk of relapse, overall survival is comparable and in some cases even better, than observed with myeloablative regimens. Here, we review the available published data pertaining to allogeneic hematopoietic cell transplantation using reduced intensity or myeloablative conditioning for various lymphoma histologies. Owing to the lack of randomized prospective trials, recommendations are mainly based on registry and single-institution studies. Special emphasis must be given to implementing strategies to prevent relapse when using reduced intensity regimens. Identifying particular patients who may benefit from myeloablative regimens in lymphomas remains to be better defined.

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