Allogeneic stem cell transplantation in multiple myeloma relapsed after autograft: A multicenter retrospective study based on donor availability

Francesca Patriarca, Hermann Einsele, Francesco Spina, Benedetto Bruno, Miriam Isola, Chiara Nozzoli, Andrea Nozza, Alessandra Sperotto, Fortunato Morabito, Gernot Stuhler, Moreno Festuccia, Alberto Bosi, Renato Fanin, Paolo Corradini

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Allogeneic stem cell transplantation (allo-SCT) using reduced-intensity conditioning (RIC) is a feasible procedure in selected patients with relapsed multiple myeloma (MM), but its efficacy remains a matter of debate. The mortality and morbidity related to the procedure and the rather high relapse risk make the use of allo-SCT controversial. In addition, the availability of novel antimyeloma treatments, such as bortezomib and immunomodulatory agents, have made allo-SCT less appealing to clinicians. We investigated the role of RIC allo-SCT in patients with MM who relapsed after autologous stem cell transplantation and were then treated with a salvage therapy based on novel agents. This study was structured similarly to an intention-to-treat analysis and included only those patients who underwent HLA typing immediately after the relapse. Patients with a donor (donor group) and those without a suitable donor (no-donor group) were compared. A total of 169 consecutive patients were evaluated retrospectively in a multicenter study. Of these, 75 patients found a donor and 68 (91%) underwent RIC allo-SCT, including 24 from an HLA-identical sibling (35%) and 44 from an unrelated donor (65%). Seven patients with a donor did not undergo allo-SCT for progressive disease or concomitant severe comorbidities. The 2-year cumulative incidence of nonrelapse mortality was 22% in the donor group and 1% in the no-donor group (P <0001). The 2-year progression-free survival (PFS) was 42% in the donor group and 18% in the no-donor group (P <0001). The 2-year overall survival (OS) was 54% in the donor group and 53% in the no-donor group (P = 329). In multivariate analysis, lack of a donor was a significant unfavorable factor for PFS, but not for OS. Lack of chemosensitivity after salvage treatment and high-risk karyotype at diagnosis significantly shortened OS. In patients who underwent allo-SCT, the development of chronic graft-versus-host disease had a significant protective effect on OS. This study provides evidence for a significant PFS benefit of salvage treatment with novel drugs followed by RIC allo-SCT in patients with relapsed MM who have a suitable donor.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)617-626
Number of pages10
JournalBiology of Blood and Marrow Transplantation
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2012


  • Donor versus no-donor analysis
  • Novel drugs
  • Reduced-intensity regimens

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Transplantation
  • Hematology


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