Limited data exist on up-front autologous stem cell transplantation (ASCT) in extranodal natural killer/T cell lymphoma (ENKTL). Sixty-two patients (43 men and 19 women) with newly diagnosed ENKTL who underwent up-front ASCT after primary therapy were identified. Poor-risk characteristics included advanced stage (50%), high-intermediate to high-risk International Prognostic Index (25.8%), and group 3 to 4 of NK/T Cell Lymphoma Prognostic Index (NKPI, 67.7%). Pretransplant responses included complete remission in 61.3% and partial remission in 38.7% of patients, and final post-transplantation response included complete remission in 78.3%. Early progression occurred in 12.9%. At a median follow-up of 43.3 months (range, 3.7 to 114.6), 3-year progression-free survival (PFS) was 52.4% and 3-year overall survival (OS) was 60.0%. Patients with limited disease had significantly better 3-year PFS (64.5% versus 40.1%, P = .017) and OS (67.6% versus 52.3%, P = .048) than those with advanced disease. Multivariate analysis showed NKPI and pretransplant response were independent prognostic factors influencing survival, particularly NKPI in limited disease and pretransplant response in advanced disease. Radiotherapy was an independent factor for reduced progression and survival in patients with limited disease, but anthracycline-based chemotherapy was a poor prognostic factor for progression in patients with advanced disease. Up-front ASCT is an active treatment in ENKTL patients responding to primary therapy.
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