There have been many attempts to find better treatments for patients with Hodgkin’s lymphoma that persists or has returned despite prior treatments, including autologous (self) stem cell transplantation. Doctors believe the best way to treat these patients is with a combination of “salvage” chemotherapy drugs, followed by a transplant of blood-forming stem cells collected from a healthy donor.
Most transplant studies only examine the results of the transplant, but they do not evaluate how many patients with advanced Hodgkin’s lymphoma are able to receive a transplant and how they fare after the transplant. The purpose of this study is to see how patients respond to salvage chemotherapy and a stem cell transplant, and how many patients are alive one year after transplant.
The study will be conducted in two parts. Patients will first receive salvage chemotherapy. During this time, doctors will try to find the most appropriate donor for a stem cell transplant. After treatment, doctors will perform tests to see how each patient’s Hodgkin’s lymphoma has responded to the chemotherapy. Patients will then undergo a transplant of blood-forming stem cells collected from a healthy donor only if three conditions are met: 1) the patient’s Hodgkin’s lymphoma has not progressed during chemotherapy; 2) a matched donor is available; and 3) it is safe for the patient to receive a transplant.