Investigators at Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in Seattle recently reported the results of retrospective study of 118 patients with mantle cell lymphoma. After receiving a variety of first-line chemotherapy regimens, including R-HyperCVAD and R-CHOP, 85 patients underwent consolidation with autologous stem cell transplantation. Initially, it appeared that patients who received an aggressive induction regimen, like R-HyperCVAD, had a better outcome following stem cell transplantation. Interestingly, after controlling for other prognostic factors, like age, LDH, White Blood Cell count, and performance status, it became apparent that choice of induction chemotherapy had little effect on outcome after transplant. In other words, patients that had a better baseline prognosis were more likely to be treated with aggressive first-line regimens, which gave the appearance that the more aggressive regimens were responsible for better outcomes. Click here to read the abstract.
This study is important because it helps us to contextualize the results of many of the phase 2 studies that have been published on mantle cell lymphoma. It is possible that the results of phase 2 studies appear to be more or less impressive than standard therapies because there is no comparison group; i.e., it is the baseline prognostic factors of the patients that explain the results rather than the treatment regimen being tested. Retrospective studies, such as the study from Seattle, are also prone to bias because it is difficult to control for everything, particularly prognostic factors that we don’t yet know about. That is why randomized studies comparing at least two regimens are of critical importance. Only randomized studies can distinguish the between the good and bad effects of two or more regimens. Continue reading “Lymphoma in the News: Choice of Pre-Transplant Chemotherapy Regimen May Not Be As Important As Other Factors in Mantle Cell Lymphoma”