Stem cell transplantation for pediatric lymphoma: past, present and future

Bone Marrow Transplant. 2008 Jan;41(2):149-58. doi: 10.1038/sj.bmt.1705948. Epub 2007 Dec 17.


Lymphoma is the third most common cancer in children < or =15 years of age. The prognosis for children with newly diagnosed chemosensitive non-Hodgkin's lymphoma (NHL) and Hodgkin's disease (HD) has improved significantly. However, in children with relapsed and refractory NHL, the prognosis is not as promising and the best treatment approach for this poor risk group continues to be a challenge. Between 25 and 30% of patients with advanced stage HD still relapse and in subsets of this group, the outcome is dismal. Aggressive chemotherapy followed by autologous bone marrow transplantation has been used with some improvement in survival. Some centers have investigated allogeneic stem cell transplantation in pediatric patients with recurrent/relapsed lymphoma. There is little consistency in therapeutic approaches and there is no formal recommendation on the best approach for this poor prognostic subgroup. We illustrate the reported pediatric experience of transplantation for lymphoma and discuss how the results from these trials are influencing how we approach the treatment in certain subgroups of pediatric patients with relapsed/refractory lymphoma.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Clinical Trials as Topic
  • Graft vs Tumor Effect
  • Hematopoietic Stem Cell Transplantation / methods*
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Lymphoma / classification
  • Lymphoma / drug therapy
  • Lymphoma / therapy*
  • Neoplasm Recurrence, Local / therapy*
  • Survival Analysis
  • Transplantation Conditioning / methods
  • Transplantation, Autologous
  • Transplantation, Homologous