In the CORAL study, 255 chemosensitive relapses with diffuse large B-cell lymphoma (DLBCL) were consolidated with autologous stem cell transplantation (ASCT), and 75 of them relapsed thereafter. The median time between ASCT and progression was 7.1 months. The median age was 56.1 years; tertiary International Prognosis Index (tIPI) observed at relapse was 0-2 in 71.6% of the patients and >2 in 28.4%. The overall response rate to third-line chemotherapy was 44%. The median overall survival (OS) was 10.0 months (median follow-up: 32.8 months). Thirteen patients received an allogeneic SCT, and three a second ASCT. The median OS was shorter among patients who relapsed <6 months (5.7 months) compared with those relapsing ≥12 months after ASCT (12.6 months, P=0.0221). The median OS in patients achieving CR, PR or no response after the third-line regimen was 37.7 (P<0.0001), 10.0 (P=0.03) and 6.3 months, respectively. The median OS varied according to tIPI: 0-2: 12.6 months and >2: 5.3 months (P=0.0007). In multivariate analysis, tIPI >2, achievement of response and remission lasting <6 months predicted the OS. This report identifies the prognostic factors for DLBCL relapsing after ASCT and thus helps to select patients for experimental therapy.
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