, Volume 28, Issue 3, pp 822-828
Date: 06 Apr 2010

Standard chemotherapy is superior to high-dose chemotherapy with autologous stem cell transplantation on overall survival as the first-line therapy for patients with aggressive non-Hodgkin lymphoma: a meta-analysis

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Randomized controlled trials (RCTs) have reported conflicting results on the impact of high-dose chemotherapy with autologous hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (HDCT) as the first-line treatment for patients with aggressive non-Hodgkin lymphoma (NHL). We performed a systematic meta-analysis to assess the efficacy of HDCT compared to conventional chemotherapy in patients with aggressive NHL with regard to overall survival (OS) at 3 years. We gathered the data for our analysis from MEDLINE, EMBASE, Cochrane controlled trials register, Cochrane Library, and Science Citation Index (1/1990 to 11/2008) searches. Hazard ratios (HRs) and 95% confidence intervals (CIs) were calculated using the random effect model. Fourteen RCTs were identified that were published in full text and included a total of 2,413 patients. There was evidence that HDCT showed decreased OS (HR 1.20, 95% CI 1.05–1.37, P = 0.006) at 3 years when compared with conventional chemotherapy. The variation in OS probabilities between studies was not statistically significant (test for heterogeneity, Q = 10.14, df = 13, P = 0.683). Thus, our meta-analysis showed that HDCT in aggressive non-Hodgkin lymphoma had decreased overall survival outcome compared with conventional chemotherapy.