Our purpose was to assess efficacy and toxicity of high-dose chemotherapy (HDCT) and ASCT in patients with relapsed and refractory Hodgkin's lymphoma (HL) aged 60 years and older and compare the results with a group of younger HL patients treated in a similar manner. We identified 15 consecutive patients, with HL aged 60 years and older who underwent HDCT (etoposide 60 mg/kg melphalan 160 mg/m 2) and ASCT at our institution from May 2001 to March 2008. The results were compared with a cohort of 157 younger HL patients treated in a similar manner from January 1999 to December 2006. After a median follow-up of 2.5 years, PFS at 3 years after ASCT was 73% (95% confidence interval (CI) 37-90) for the older group and 56% (95% CI 46-64) for the younger group (P=0.45); OS after ASCT was 88% (95% CI 39-98) for the older group and 84% (95% CI 75-90) for the younger group (P=0.80). No transplant-related deaths were seen. Our study suggests that ASCT is feasible for selected elderly patients with HL, giving similar results to younger patients in terms of survival and toxicity.
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