Feasibility and toxicity of high-dose therapy (HDT) supported by peripheral blood stem cells in elderly patients with multiple myeloma and non-Hodgkin's lymphoma: Survey from a single institution

Massimo Magagnoli, Luca Castagna, Monica Balzarotti, Barbara Sarina, Inna Timofeeva, Alexia Bertuzzi, Silvana Compasso, Andrea Nozza, Licia Siracusano, Armando Santoro

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


The aim of this retrospective study was to investigate the feasibility of high-dose therapy (HDT) followed by peripheral blood stem cell transplantation (PBSCT) in elderly patients with hematological malignancies. From April 1998 to November 2001, 40 elderly patients (defined as ≥60 years) with non-Hodgkin's lymphoma (12 patients) and multiple myeloma (28 patients) were evaluated. Seven lymphoma and one myeloma patients were in complete remission (CR), 27 in partial remission (PR), two had stable disease (SD), and three progressive disease (PD). The median age was 65 years (range 60-71). Thirty-nine patients were mobilized with chemotherapy plus granulocyte-colony stimulating factor (G-CSF) and one with G-CSF alone. Patients received HDT including melphalan alone in 32 cases or combined with other drugs in six and BEAM in two. The median number of collected CD34+ cells was 12.4 × 106/kg (range 2.0-68.9). The median number of re-infused CD34+ cells was 9.9 × 106/kg (range 2.0-68.9). All patients engrafted after PBSC and the median time to neutrophil recovery (N > 500/IJI) 500/111) and platelet recovery (PLT > 20,000/μl) was 8 days (range 5-18) and 6 days (range 5-18), respectively. Non-hematological toxicity was mild and no patient died from transplant-related toxicity (TRM). Median duration of hospitalization was 18 days (range 12-24). To date, 32 patients are alive and eight died from disease progression at a median follow-up interval of 24 months. HDT supported by PBSC is a feasible procedure in selected elderly patients, and an age of more than 60 years should not be considered a contraindication for HDT.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)267-272
Number of pages6
JournalAmerican Journal of Hematology
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Aug 1 2003



  • Elderly patients
  • Multiple myeloma
  • Non-Hodgkin's lymphoma
  • PBSC transplantation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Hematology

Cite this