The standard approach for relapsed diffuse large B-cell lymphoma (DLBCL) involves auto-SCT. However, studies that established this approach were conducted before the inclusion of rituximab (R) with first-line therapy became routine. Whether DLBCL patients (pts) relapsing after first-line chemoimmunotherapy including R derive a comparable benefit from auto-SCT to pts in the pre-R era is unknown. We analyzed outcomes after auto-SCT for relapsed DLBCL among pts receiving initial R and those who did not. We reviewed 257 consecutive pts with relapsed DLBCL treated at our institution with auto-SCT. In all, 226 pts were included in the analysis, of whom 161 had received no R and 65 received R as part of first-line therapy (Planned R). Median OS and relapse-free survival, measured from transplant, were similar between No R vs Planned R groups: 67 vs 44 months (P=0.3) and 25 vs 27 months (P=0.8), respectively. A further analysis was carried out between two cohorts matched by propensity analysis. Again, no differences in outcomes were observed. This suggests that auto-SCT may be equally effective in pts relapsing after first-line therapy including R, and should remain the standard of care for relapsed DLBCL.
- diffuse large B-cell lymphoma
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