Comparison of outcomes after umbilical cord blood and unmanipulated haploidentical hematopoietic stem cell transplantation in children with high-risk acute lymphoblastic leukemia

Xiao-Dong Mo, Bao-Lin Tang, Xiao-Hui Zhang, Chang-Cheng Zheng, Lan-Ping Xu, Xiao-Yu Zhu, Yu Wang, Hui-Lan Liu, Chen-Hua Yan, Xian-Deng Chu, Huan Chen, Liang-Quan Geng, Kai-Yan Liu, Zi-Min Sun, Xiao-Jun Huang
International Journal of Cancer. Journal International du Cancer 2016 November 1, 139 (9): 2106-15
Allogeneic hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (HSCT) is an effective therapy for children with high-risk acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL). Human leukocyte antigen (HLA)-haploidentical HSCT (haplo-HSCT) or umbilical cord blood transplantation (UCBT) are both important alternative sources of stem cells for those without an HLA-identical sibling donor or unrelated matched donor. We aimed to compare the therapeutic effects of single UCBT and unmanipulated haplo-HSCT in high-risk ALL children (n = 129). Hematopoietic recovery was significantly faster in haplo-HSCT recipients than in UCBT recipients. The 2-year cumulative incidences of relapse in the haplo-HSCT and UCBT groups were 16.1% and 24.1%, respectively (p = 0.169). The 2-year cumulative incidences of non-relapse mortality in the haplo-HSCT and UCBT groups were 12.8% and 18.8%, respectively (p = 0.277). The 2-year probabilities of overall survival in the haplo-HSCT and UCBT groups were 82.0% and 69.6%, respectively (p = 0.071), and the 2-year probability of disease-free survival in the haplo-HSCT group was higher than in the UCBT group (71.0% vs. 57.2%, p = 0.040). However, several variables (such as leukocyte count and cytogenetics at diagnosis) were different between the groups, and a possible center effect should also be considered. In addition, only mild and moderate chronic graft-versus-host disease (GVHD) was associated with significantly improved survival compared to those without chronic GVHD in multivariate analysis. Thus, our results show that both unmanipulated haplo-HSCT and UCBT are valid for high-risk ALL children lacking a HLA matched donor, and both strategies expand the donor pool for children in need.

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