Autologous stem-cell transplantation (autoSCT) is considered a standard treatment of non-frail patients with mantle cell lymphoma (MCL), but little is known about outcome of MCL patients relapsing after autoSCT. We therefore sought to analyse the outcome after autoSCT failure and the efficacy of a rescue stem-cell transplantation (SCT) in this setting. Patients with MCL were eligible if they had relapsed after autoSCT performed between 2000 and 2009. A total of 1054 patients could be identified in the EBMT registry. By contacting the transplant centres, a full dataset could be retrieved for 360 patients. Median overall survival (OS) after relapse of the whole study group was 19 months. A long (> 12 months) interval between autoSCT and relapse [P <0.001, hazard ratio (HR) 0.62], primary refractory disease (P <0.02, HR 1.92), prior high-dose ARA-C treatment (P = 0.04, HR 1.43), and the year of relapse (P = 0.02, HR 0.92) significantly influenced OS from relapse in multivariate analysis. Eighty patients (22%) received a rescue allogeneic SCT (alloSCT). Relapse incidence, non-relapse mortality, and OS 2 years after alloSCT was 33% [confidence interval (95% CI 21% to 45%)], 30% (95% CI 19% to 42%), and 46% (95% CI 33% to 59%), respectively. Remission duration after autoSCT was the only variable significantly affecting the outcome of salvage alloSCT. In contrast, rescue autoSCT was not associated with long-term disease control. However, individual patients survived long term even without salvage transplantation. MCL recurrence within 1 year after autoSCT has an extremely dismal outcome, while the prognosis of patients with longer remission durations after autoSCT is significantly better. AlloSCT may offer the possibility of durable survival when performed for patients with a remission duration of more than 12 months after first autoSCT, but the favourable effect of a salvage alloSCT in this setting needs further validation.
- mantle cell lymphoma relapse
- autologous stem-cell transplantation
- allogeneic stem-cell transplantation