Poor outcome with nonmyeloablative conditioning regimen before cord blood transplantation for patients with high-risk acute myeloid leukemia compared with matched related or unrelated donor transplantation

Raynier Devillier, Samia Harbi, Sabine Fürst, Roberto Crocchiolo, Jean El-Cheikh, Luca Castagna, Anne Etienne, Boris Calmels, Claude Lemarie, Thomas Prebet, Angela Granata, Aude Charbonnier, Jérôme Rey, Christian Chabannon, Catherine Faucher, Norbert Vey, Didier Blaise
Biology of Blood and Marrow Transplantation 2014, 20 (10): 1560-5
Allogeneic hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (Allo-HSCT) is recommended for patients with high-risk acute myeloid leukemia (AML). In many situations, a matched related (MRD) or matched unrelated donor (MUD) is lacking, in which case unrelated cord blood units (UCB) provide an alternative. We analyzed the outcome of consecutive high-risk AML patients prepared with reduced-intensity conditioning (RIC) regimens and allografted with UCB (n = 32) and compared their outcome with high-risk AML patients who underwent transplantation with MRD/MUD (n = 49) in the same period of time. Grade III to IV acute graft-versus-host disease (GVHD) occurred slightly more frequently in the UCB group (25%) than in the MRD/MUD group (8%) (P = .069). Conversely, we found a lower incidence of extensive chronic GVHD in the UCB group (6%) than in the MRD/MUD group (20%, P = .085). Nonrelapse mortality at 4 years was 16% and 22% in the UCB and MRD/MUD groups, respectively (P = .529). The cumulative incidence of relapse at 4 years was significantly higher in the UCB group (60%) than in the MRD/MUD group (27%, P = .006). Leukemia-free survival (LFS) and overall survival (OS) at 4 years were 25% and 34%, respectively, in the UCB group and 50% and 56%, respectively, in the MRD/MUD group (LFS, P = .029; OS, P = .072). Multivariate analyses adjusted by cytogenetics and disease status at the time of Allo-HSCT revealed that use of UCB remained an independent predictive factor of shorter LFS (hazard ratio, 2.0; 95% confidence interval, 1.1 to 3.6; P = .018), and was associated with a trend for shorter OS (hazard ratio, 1.7; 95% confidence interval, .9 to 3.2; P = .093). Whereas UCB provides an alternative for patients with high-risk AML lacking an MRD/MUD, the high incidence of relapse after RIC-based UCB Allo-HSCT is a concern. Attempts to improve leukemic control with UCB Allo-HSCT are warranted, as well as the evaluation of other alternative donors in this context.

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