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Role of stem cell transplant in lymphoma in the era of new drugs

Benekou, Katerinaa; Montoto, Silviaa,b

doi: 10.1097/CCO.0000000000000403

Purpose of review Better understanding of the lymphoma pathogenesis and molecular biology has introduced a new era in the lymphoma therapy with the advent of targeted drugs. In this new era, the role of hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (HSCT) is evolving, and the purpose of this review is to demonstrate how the introduction of novel agents has affected the current treatment strategy of different subtypes of lymphoma.

Recent findings Autologous stem cell transplantation (ASCT) remains the standard of care for patients with relapsed Hodgkin Lymphoma and high-grade non-Hodgkin lymphoma (NHL). In the group of the indolent lymphomas, ASCT maintains its role in the relapsed setting. Novel targeted agents like idelalisib and ibrutinib have shown to induce prolonged remissions with a very good safety profile. However, the follow-up is still relatively short and none of these drugs have demonstrated a curative potential, as opposed to HSCT.

Summary For many authors, the advent of new targeted drugs is challenging the role of HSCT in different subsets of lymphoma. The actual challenge is how to make the best use of these drugs, in certain circumstances in combination with HSCT, to further improve the outcome of patients with lymphoma.

aDepartment of Haemato-oncology, St Bartholomew's Hospital, Barts Health NHS Trust, London, United Kingdom

bEuropean Society for Blood and Marrow Transplantation (EBMT)-LWP, Paris, France

Correspondence to Silvia Montoto, Department of Haemato-oncology, St Bartholomew's Hospital, 5th Floor King George V Building, West Smithfield, London EC1A 7BE, United Kingdom. Tel: +44 0203 465 5993; e-mail:

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