The role of autologous stem cell transplantation in adult patients with acute myeloid leukaemia (AML) in first remission is unclear, yet it has become standard treatment for myeloma and this paper explores whether the source of transplanted stem cells may explain this paradox. In total, 57 patients from the Royal Marsden Hospital who received an unpurged bone marrow transplant (ABMT) were matched with 114 patients from the EBMT registry who had undergone peripheral blood stem cell transplantation (PBSCT). Patients were matched for karyotype, FAB type, remission-autograft interval and age. In the PBSCT group, haematopoietic recovery was significantly faster and nonrelapse mortality at 4 years was significantly lower (13 vs 1%, P = 0.04). The relapse rate and overall survival at 4 years (20 vs 31% and 77 vs 63%) were also better with PBSCT, although the differences were not statistically significant. Autografting should be reassessed in a randomised trial for first remission AML patients using peripheral blood as a source of stem cells rather than bone marrow.
- Acute myeloid leukaemia
- Autologous bone marrow transplantation
- Peripheral blood stem cells
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