Myeloablative hematopoietic cell transplantation for acute lymphoblastic leukemia: analysis of graft sources and long-term outcome

Michael B Tomblyn, Mukta Arora, K Scott Baker, Bruce R Blazar, Claudio G Brunstein, Linda J Burns, Todd E DeFor, Kathryn E Dusenbery, Dan S Kaufman, John H Kersey, Margaret L MacMillan, Philip B McGlave, Jeffrey S Miller, Paul J Orchard, Arne Slungaard, Marcie R Tomblyn, Gregory M Vercellotti, Michael R Verneris, John E Wagner, Daniel J Weisdorf
Journal of Clinical Oncology 2009 August 1, 27 (22): 3634-41

PURPOSE: Analysis of hematopoietic cell transplantation (HCT) for high-risk or recurrent acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) using different donor sources is confounded by variable conditioning and supportive care.

PATIENTS AND METHODS: We studied 623 consecutive ALL myeloablative HCT (1980 to 2005). Donors were autologous (n = 209), related (RD; n = 245), unrelated (URD; n = 100), and umbilical cord blood (UCB; n = 69).

RESULTS: After median of 8.3 years of follow-up, 5-year overall survival (OS), leukemia-free survival (LFS), and relapse were 29% (95% CI, 26% to 32%), 26% (95% CI, 23% to 29%), and 43% (95% CI, 39% to 47%), respectively. Treatment-related mortality (TRM) at 2 years was 28% (95% CI, 25% to 31%). Mismatched URD sources yielded higher TRM (relative risk [RR], 2.2; P < .01) and lower OS (RR, 1.5; P = .05) than RD or UCB HCT. Autografting yielded significantly more relapse (68%; 95% CI, 59% to 77%; P < .01) and poorer LFS (14%; 95% CI, 10% to 18%; P = .01). HCT in first complete remission (CR1) yielded significantly better outcomes than later HCT. In a 1990 to 2005 allogeneic CR1/second complete response cohort, 5-year OS, LFS, and relapse rates were 41% (95% CI, 35% to 47%), 38% (95% CI, 32% to 44%), and 25% (95% CI, 19% to 31%), respectively; 2-year TRM was 34% (95% CI, 28% to 40%). With RD, well-matched URD and UCB sources, 5-year LFS was 40% (95% CI, 31% to 49%), 42% (95% CI, 14% to 70%), and 49% (95% CI, 34% to 64%), respectively, while relapse was 31% (95% CI, 22% to 40%), 17% (95% CI, 0% to 37%), and 27% (95% CI, 13% to 41%). Acute graft-versus-host disease was associated with fewer relapses. Since 1995, we noted progressive improvements in OS, LFS, and TRM.

CONCLUSION: Allogeneic, but not autologous, HCT for ALL results in durable LFS. Importantly, HCT using UCB led to similar outcomes as either RD or well-matched URD. HCT in early remission can best exploit the potent antileukemic efficacy of allografting from UCB, RD, or URD sources.

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