This study is evaluating a new way of treating patients with cancer of the blood, lymph nodes, and/or bone marrow that is unlikely to be cured by chemotherapy and or radiation alone. Doctors think the best way to treat these patients is with a transplant of blood-forming stem cells from a compatible healthy donor, following a conditioning regimen with low doses of chemotherapy and radiation.
A conditioning regimen is a combination of drugs and radiation therapy that are given right before the transplant. The conditioning regimen being assessed in this study includes low doses of chemotherapy, low-dose radiation therapy, and rituximab (a drug approved for treating non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma).
Recent studies have shown that regimens that use lower doses of chemotherapy and radiation can be used to prepare a patient for a transplant of blood-forming cells, and that the immune cells (T cells) in a transplant from a normal donor can destroy lymphoma cells anywhere in the body (the “graft-versus-lymphoma” effect).