PURPOSEWe designed a minimal-intensity conditioning regimen for allogeneic hematopoietic cell transplantation (HCT) in patients with advanced hematologic malignancies unable to tolerate high-intensity regimens because of age, serious comorbidities, or previous high-dose HCT. The regimen allows the purest assessment of graft-versus-tumor (GVT) effects apart from conditioning and graft-versus-host disease (GVHD) not augmented by regimen-related toxicities. PATIENTS AND METHODS
Patients received low-dose total-body irradiation ± fludarabine before HCT from HLA-matched related (n = 611) or unrelated (n = 481) donors, followed by mycophenolate mofetil and a calcineurin inhibitor to aid engraftment and control GVHD. Median patient age was 56 years (range, 7 to 75 years). Forty-five percent of patients had comorbidity scores of ≥ 3. Median follow-up time was 5 years (range, 0.6 to 12.7 years).ResultsDepending on disease risk, comorbidities, and GVHD, lasting remissions were seen in 45% to 75% of patients, and 5-year survival ranged from 25% to 60%. At 5 years, the nonrelapse mortality (NRM) rate was 24%, and the relapse mortality rate was 34.5%. Most NRM was a result of GVHD. The most significant factors associated with GVHD-associated NRM were serious comorbidities and grafts from unrelated donors. Most relapses occurred early while the immune system was compromised. GVT effects were comparable after unrelated and related grafts. Chronic GVHD, but not acute GVHD, further increased GVT effects. The potential benefit associated with chronic GVHD was outweighed by increased NRM. CONCLUSION
Allogeneic HCT relying on GVT effects is feasible and results in cures of an appreciable number of malignancies. Improved results could come from methods that control progression of malignancy early after HCT and effectively prevent GVHD.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Most patients with hematologic malignancies have received extensive chemotherapy before hematopoietic cell transplantation (HCT), resulting in neutropenia, lymphocytopenia, and use of antibiotics. Accordingly, patients have a wide range of neutrophil counts, lymphocyte counts, and prior antibiotic use. The minimal toxicity of the current conditioning regimen allowed asking whether peritransplant neutrophil or lymphocyte levels influenced the risks of acute graft-versus-host disease (GVHD) or relapse. We analyzed outcomes in 459 patients aged 7 to 75 (median 57) years who were conditioned with fludarabine and low-dose total body irradiation for HLA-matched HCT. We made two key findings. First, low neutrophil nadirs within the first 3 weeks after HCT had significant associations with increased risks of acute GVHD and 5-year non-relapse mortality (NRM), but showed no associations with the risk of relapse. Second, high lymphocyte counts immediately before transplantation had significant associations with reduced risks of relapse and overall mortality but showed no associations with the risks of GVHD or NRM. The findings suggested that the immunological mechanisms involved in acute GVHD might differ from those initiating graft-versus-tumor effects.
Biology of blood and marrow transplantation: journal of the American Society for Blood and Marrow Transplantation 02/2013; 19(5). DOI:10.1016/j.bbmt.2013.02.006 · 3.40 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Acute myeloid leukemia (AML) most commonly affects patients older than 60 years. Outcomes of treatment of older AML patients have been poor. The advent of reduced-intensity conditioning (RIC) regimens made allogeneic hematopoietic cell transplantation (HCT) an available treatment option with curative intent for older AML patients. Because older patients are often excluded from clinical trials, little is known about the stratification of their risks before allogeneic HCT. While recent studies of RIC and allogeneic HCT have shown little impact of age on outcomes, other variables such as the recipient health status and the AML disease status and chromosomal aberrations have proven to be of prognostic significance. Here, the authors review recent studies of allogeneic HCT for older patients with AML with detailed evaluation of risk factors for relapse as well as non-relapse mortality. The authors have integrated the currently available information on transplant risks into a five-category risk-benefit system that could aid in the decision-making in this patient population.
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