The complete remission (CR) rate achieved with induction chemotherapy prior to autologous stem cell transplantation (ASCT) represents the strongest prognostic factor in relapsed/ refractory (R/R) classical Hodgkin lymphoma (cHL). By inducing a CR rate of 75%, the bendamustine, gemcitabine, vinorelbine (BEGEV) regimen represents an optimal chemotherapy regimen prior to ASCT. Presented here are the 5-year results of BEGEV followed by ASCT in R/R cHL. With a median follow-up of 5 years, progression-free survival (PFS) and overall survival (OS) for the whole series (n 5 59) were 59% and 78%, respectively. ASCT was performed in 43 of 49 responding patients (73% by intention to treat [ITT]; 88% by response to BEGEV) and resulted in 33 with continuous CR (56% by ITT; 77% of transplanted patients), 7 with disease relapse, and 3 with nonrelapse mortality. For patients who received transplants, the 5-year PFS and OS were 77% and 91%, respectively, with no significant difference between relapsed and refractory patients. No patient experienced secondary leukemia or myelodysplasia. In summary, the long-term efficacy data, the benefits for both relapsed and refractory patients, and the excellent safety profile provide a strong rationale for further development of the BEGEV regimen.
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