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Determining eligibility for autologous hematopoietic cell transplantation

Leona A Holmberg, MD, PhD
H Joachim Deeg, MD
Brenda M Sandmaier, MD
Section Editor
Nelson J Chao, MD
Deputy Editor
Alan G Rosmarin, MD


Hematopoietic cell transplantation (HCT) refers to the administration of hematopoietic progenitor cells from any source (eg, bone marrow, peripheral blood, umbilical cord blood) or donor (eg, allogeneic, autologous) to reconstitute the bone marrow. Autologous HCT (auto-HCT) uses hematopoietic progenitor cells derived from the individual with the disorder and is used increasingly to treat a variety of hematologic neoplasms.

Eligibility for auto-HCT varies across countries and institutions. Ultimately, decisions regarding transplant eligibility should be made on a case by case basis based on a risk-benefit assessment, and the needs and wishes of the patient. This topic will discuss eligibility for auto-HCT. Eligibility for allogeneic HCT, the use of HCT in specific disease settings, and the short and long term complications of HCT are discussed separately. (See "Determining eligibility for allogeneic hematopoietic cell transplantation" and "Management of the hematopoietic cell transplant recipient in the immediate post-transplant period" and "The approach to hematopoietic cell transplantation survivorship".)


Autologous hematopoietic cell transplantation (auto-HCT) is most commonly performed for the management of patients with multiple myeloma, non-Hodgkin lymphoma, and Hodgkin lymphoma. There are no accepted guidelines regarding indications for auto-HCT and recommendations regarding indications for auto-HCT differ between transplant centers [1]. The role of auto-HCT in specific diseases is discussed in more detail separately. In general, auto-HCT may be considered in the following settings:

Multiple myeloma – As consolidation therapy following initial response to chemotherapy or for the treatment of relapsed or refractory disease. (See "Overview of the management of multiple myeloma", section on 'Autologous HCT versus chemotherapy alone' and "Autologous hematopoietic cell transplantation in multiple myeloma".)

Hodgkin lymphoma – Treatment of chemotherapy-sensitive relapsed disease. (See "Hematopoietic cell transplantation in classical Hodgkin lymphoma" and "Treatment of relapse of classical Hodgkin lymphoma after initial chemotherapy", section on 'High dose chemotherapy and transplantation'.)


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Literature review current through: Sep 2016. | This topic last updated: Jul 5, 2016.
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