SAN FRANCISCO—A single-center study suggests that transplant can induce remissions and improve survival in certain patients with advanced cutaneous T-cell lymphomas.
Allogeneic stem cell transplant (SCT) proved particularly effective in patients with Sézary syndrome (SS).
It also conferred benefits to mycosis fungoides (MF) patients with large-cell transformation (LCT), but patients with SS and LCT did not fare as well.
Madeleine Duvic, MD, of the MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston, presented these results at the 6th Annual T-cell Lymphoma Forum. The data were updated from a previously published report (Duvic et al, JCO 2010).
Dr Duvic and her colleagues evaluated 48 patients who had biopsy-proven MF or SS. They underwent SCT at MD Anderson between July 2001 and September 2013.
The patients were in good health but had advanced disease. They had received a median of 6 prior therapies (range, 2-11).
The median age was 51.5 years (range, 19-72 years), and 54% of patients were female. Sixty-nine percent were Caucasian, 23% were African American, and 8% were Hispanic.
Fourteen patients had SS only, 16 had MF with LCT, 9 had SS and LCT, 5 had stage IVA or IIB disease (4 nodal, 1 tumor), and 4 had folliculotropic MF.
Transplant and other treatment
Patients had to have a 9/10 or 10/10 HLA-matched donor (related or unrelated). Most of the stem cells were collected via apheresis, but bone marrow aspiration was used for patients receiving mismatched transplants.
Forty-three of the patients underwent tumor and skin debulking with total skin electron beam (TBSEB) radiation (35 Gy) 1 or 2 months prior to SCT.
Most patients received a conditioning regimen of fludarabine and melphalan, but a few received fludarabine and cyclophosphamide. Patients received tacrolimus and methotrexate as graft-vs-host disease (GVHD) prophylaxis, as well as extracorporeal photopheresis if they developed GVHD.
All of the SS patients received vancomycin, fluconazole, and valacyclovir to ward off infections.
Response and GVHD
The overall complete response rate was 58% (28/48). Eight percent of patients did not engraft—3 MF patients with LCT and 1 SS patient.
“The response rate was much higher in Sézary patients [than in the rest of the cohort],” Dr Duvic said. “The worst prognosis was for patients who had both Sézary and large-cell transformation, who relapsed early and were generally refractory to prior therapies.”
Complete responses occurred in 79% of SS patients, 56% of MF patients with LCT, 44% of patients with SS and LCT, 40% of patients with stage IVA/IIB disease, and 50% of those with folliculotropic MF.
Among patients who received TBSEB, 58% (25/43) achieved a complete response. Of the 5 patients who did not receive TBSEB, 3 had a complete response (60%).
Sixty percent of patients developed GVHD (29/48). Eighteen patients had acute skin GVHD, 9 had acute gastrointestinal GVHD, 13 had chronic skin GVHD, and 6 had chronic gastrointestinal GVHD.
Relapse and survival
Overall, the relapse rate was 33% (16/48). Twenty-one percent of SS patients relapsed, as did 25% of MF patients with LCT and 56% of patients with SS and LCT.
The mortality rate was 44% (21/48). Patients died of relapsed MF, sepsis, infection, second malignancy, and other causes.
The overall survival (OS) was 10.2 years from diagnosis and 5.7 years from SCT. The progression-free survival (PFS) was 6 years from diagnosis and 1.8 years from SCT.
“We also looked at whether large-cell transformation had an effect on survival and therapy,” Dr Duvic said. “Large-cell transformation in MF has been reported to have a more aggressive course and a shorter overall survival than untransformed MF.”
“In our cohort of patients, we found an overall survival of 4.79 years in patients with large-cell transformation, which is a little bit higher than [survival rates in] the literature.”
Among MF patients with LCT, OS was 84% at 1 year from SCT and 38% at both 5 years and 10 years. PFS was 55% at 1 year, 16% at 5 years, and 0% at 10 years.
In comparison, among SS patients without LCT, OS was 88% at 1 year from SCT and 70% at both 5 years and 10 years. PFS was 63% at 1 year and 49% at 5 years and 10 years.