The role of more intense conditioning for second transplant was evaluated in myeloma patients achieving at least partial remission (PR) after first transplant with melphalan at 200 mg/m2. Forty-three patients received more intensive conditioning for the second transplant. Nineteen patients received cyclophosphamide 120 mg/kg along with melphalan 200 g/m2 (MEL-CY; group 1) while 24 patients received total body irradiation (1125 cGy) in conjunction with melphalan 140 mg/m2 (MEL-TBI; group 2). Forty-three matched control patients were identified from 450 patients receiving melphalan alone for second transplant (MEL200; group 3). Engraftment and toxicities were comparable among the groups with the exception of increased treatment-related mortality of 8% in group 2 compared to none in groups 1 and 3 (P = 0.07). Despite identical CR rates of 74, 71 and 70%, respectively, in groups 1, 2 and 3 (P = 1.0), event-free survival (median: 27, 15 and 61; P < 0.0001) and overall survival (median: 39, 25 and 76 months; P = 0.003) were significantly decreased in patients receiving more intensive conditioning (groups 1 and 2). Lymphocyte recovery, evaluated as a surrogate for immune recovery, was inferior in more intensively treated patients (groups 1 and 2 compared to group 3). Our findings suggest that more intense conditioning appears to have no benefit in patients responding to their first cycle of high-dose therapy and may even be detrimental in this setting.
ASJC Scopus subject areas