Supported by experimental evidence and convincing results of early phase II studies, since the 1980s high-dose chemotherapy (HDC) with autologous hematopoietic stem cell support (AHSCT) has been uncritically adopted by many oncologists as a potentially curative option for several solid tumors. As a result, the number (and size) of randomized trials comparing this approach with conventional chemotherapy initiated (and often abandoned before completion) in this setting was limited and the benefit of a greater escalation of dose of chemotherapy with stem cell transplantation in solid tumors remains, with the possible exception of breast carcinoma (BC) and germ cell tumors (GCT), largely unsettled. In this article, we review and comment on the data from studies to date of HDC for solid tumors in adults.
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