The application of allogeneic hematopoietic cell transplantation (allo-HCT) in non-Hodgkin lymphoma (NHL) patients ≥65 years in the United States is limited by lack of Medicare coverage for this indication. Using the Center for International Blood and Marrow Transplant Research (CIBMTR) database, we report allo-HCT outcomes of NHL patients aged ≥65 years (older cohort; n = 446) compared with a cohort of younger NHL patients aged 55-64 years (n = 1183). We identified 1629 NHL patients undergoing a first reduced-intensity conditioning (RIC) or nonmyeloablative conditioning allo-HCT from 2008 to 2015 in the United States. Cord blood or haploidentical transplants were excluded. The median age was 68 years (range 65-77) for the older cohort vs 60 years (range 55-64) in the younger cohort. The 4-year adjusted probabilities of nonrelapse mortality (NRM), relapse/progression (R/P), progression-free survival (PFS), and overall survival (OS) of the younger and older groups were 24% vs 30% (P = .03), 41% vs 42% (P = .82), 37% vs 31% (P = .03), and 51% vs 46% (P = .07), respectively. Using multivariate analysis, compared with the younger group, the older cohort was associated with increased NRM, but there was no difference between the 2 cohorts in terms of R/P, PFS, or OS. The most common cause of death was disease relapse in both groups. In NHL patients eligible for allo-HCT, there was no difference in OS between the 2 cohorts. Age alone should not determine allo-HCT eligibility in NHL, and Medicare should expand allo-HCT coverage to older adults.
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