Cookies on this website

We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you click 'Accept all cookies' we'll assume that you are happy to receive all cookies and you won't see this message again. If you click 'Reject all non-essential cookies' only necessary cookies providing core functionality such as security, network management, and accessibility will be enabled. Click 'Find out more' for information on how to change your cookie settings.

This study aimed to assess the safety and efficacy of using high dose melphalan and etoposide followed by autologous, non-cryopreserved marrow rescue in advanced Hodgkin's disease (HD). Seventeen patients with poor risk Hodgkin's disease from a single centre underwent autologous bone marrow transplant (ABMT) using high dose melphalan and etopside conditioning. Two patients had primary progressive resistant disease (PD), two were in fourth relapse, six in second or third complete remission (CR), one patient had good partial response (GPR) (> 75% reduction in initial bulk) to primary therapy and six were in first complete remission. The patients transplanted in first CR all has a Scotland and Newcastle Lymphoma Group (SNLG) Prognostic Index (Proctor et al., 1991) which indicated they were in a poor risk prognostic group. Melphalan and etoposide both have a short half life enabling ABMT to be accomplished using unmanipulated marrow stored at 4 degrees C. The marrow was returned to the patient within 56 h of harvest. Complete haematological reconstitution occurred in 16/17 patients, the rate of engraftment reflecting the amount of previous chemotherapy. One patient died of progressive Hodgkin's disease before full engraftment could occur. In patients autografted in first remission, the median number of days with neutropenia (< 0.5 x 10(9) l-1 neutrophils) was 19 (range 9-33) and, in those in subsequent remission, 27 days (range 18-36). The median number of days to 50 x 10(9) l-1 platelets in the same groups were 29 (21-80) and 50 (41-74) respectively. The number of days in hospital post transplant in both groups was similar; median 22 (15-27) and 23 (17-37) respectively. There were no procedural deaths and none of the patients transplanted in first, second or third CR have relapsed (median follow up 21 months). The two patients transplanted with progressive disease showed only temporary responses. The two patients transplanted in fourth relapse went into CR; one is still alive and in CR 15 months post transplant, but the other relapsed 18 months post transplant. This form of intensification therapy with marrow rescue has been shown to be effective and of low toxicity and now forms part of a randomised controlled trial in poor risk Hodgkin's patients as identified by the SNLG index (Proctor et al., 1992).

Original publication




Journal article


British journal of cancer

Publication Date





383 - 387


Department of Haematology, Royal Victoria Infirmary, Newcastle upon Tyne, UK.


Humans, Hodgkin Disease, Melphalan, Etoposide, Antineoplastic Combined Chemotherapy Protocols, Combined Modality Therapy, Bone Marrow Transplantation, Transplantation, Autologous, Risk Factors, Dose-Response Relationship, Drug, Adult, Middle Aged, Female, Male