High-dose therapy with autologous transplantation for aggressive non-Hodgkin's lymphoma: The Bologna experience

Pier Luigi Zinzani, Monica Tani, Annalisa Gabrielle, Filippo Gherlinzoni, Antonello De Vivo, Paolo Ricci, Giuseppe Bandini, Roberto Massimo Lemoli, Maria Rosa Motta, Simonetta Rizzi, Valeria Guidice, Maurizio Zompatori, Vittorio Stefoni, Lapo Alinari, Gerardo Musuraca, Enrica Marchi, Simona Bassi, Roberto Conte, Stefano Pileri, Sante TuraMichele Baccarani

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Patients with aggressive non-Hodgkin's lymphoma (NHL) who relapse after initial therapy have a poor prognosis and with standard dose salvage therapy the outlook remains poor. In this work we examine the patient characteristics and outcome of patients with aggressive NHL treated with HDT and autologous transplantation at our Institute from 1982 to 1999. A retrospective analysis was performed examining patient characteristics, prior chemotherapy regimens, pretransplant disease status, HDT regimen, source of stem cells, time for hematopietic recovery, complications of transplantation, response rates, overall survival (OS) and relapse-free survival (RFS). One hundred and thirty-four patients with aggressive NHL were treated with estimated 10-year OS and RFS rates of 50% and 66%, respectively. Disease status (sensitive vs. refractory) pre-HDT was the most powerful predictive parameter for OS and RFS, at both univariate and multivariate analysis. For the entire cohort, transplant-related mortality was only 3.5% without evidence of second malignancies. Our results confirm that HDT with autologous transplantation is associated with a durable RFS in a remarkable proportion of aggressive NHL patients with very low global early and late toxicity. Improved patient selection, transplant timing, ongoing improvements in supportive care, and selected phase III trials should increase outcomes further.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)321-326
Number of pages6
JournalLeukemia and Lymphoma
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2004


  • ABMT
  • Aggressive non-Hodgkin's lymphoma
  • Chemotherapy
  • Relapse-free survival

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Hematology
  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research


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