Objectives: Detectable minimal residual disease (MRD) after therapy for acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) is the strongest predictor of hematologic relapse. This study evaluated outcomes of patients with B-cell precursor ALL with MRD of ≥10−4 Methods: Study population was from ALL study groups in Europe managed in national study protocols 2000–2014. MRD was measured by polymerase chain reaction or flow cytometry. Patients were age ≥15 years at initial ALL diagnosis. Patients were excluded if exposed to blinatumomab within 18 months of baseline or prior alloHSCT. Results: Of 272 patients in CR1, baseline MRD was ≥10−1, 10−2 to <10−1, 10−3 to <10−2, and 10−4 to <10−3 in 15 (6%), 71 (26%), 109 (40%), and 77 (28%) patients, respectively. Median duration of complete remission (DoR) was 18.5 months (95% confidence interval [CI], 11.9–27.2), median relapse-free survival (RFS) was 12.4 months (95% CI, 10.0–19.0) and median overall survival (OS) was 32.5 months (95% CI, 23.6–48.0). Lower baseline MRD level (P ≤.0003) and white blood cell count <30,000/µL at diagnosis (P ≤.0053) were strong predictors for better RFS and DoR. Allogeneic hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (alloHSCT) was associated with longer RFS (hazard ratio [HR], 0.59; 95% CI, 0.41–0.84) and DoR (HR, 0.43; 95% CI, 0.29–0.64); the association with OS was not significant (HR, 0.72; 95% CI, 0.50–1.05). Discussion: In conclusion, RFS, DoR, and OS are relatively short in patients with MRD-positive ALL, particularly at higher MRD levels. AlloHSCT may improve survival but has limitations. Alternative approaches are needed to improve outcomes in MRD-positive ALL.
- Acute lymphoblastic leukemia
- allogeneic stem cell transplant
- minimal residual disease
ASJC Scopus subject areas