The introduction of reduced intensity/toxicity conditioning regimens has allowed allogeneic hematopoietic cell transplantation to be performed in patients who were previously considered too old or otherwise unfit. Although it led to a reduction in non-relapse mortality, disease control remains a major challenge. We studied the outcome of 165 patients with acute myeloid leukemia (n=124) or myelodysplastic syndrome (n=41) transplanted after conditioning with fludarabine (30 mg/m2/day for 5 days), intravenous busulfan (either 260 mg/m2: reduced intensity conditioning, or 390-520 mg/m2: reduced toxicity conditioning), and rabbit anti-thymoglobulin (2.5 mg/kg/day for2 days). The median age of the patients at transplantation was 56.8 years. The 2-year relapse incidence was 29% (23% versus 39% for patients transplanted in first complete remission and those transplanted beyond first complete remission, respectively; P=0.008). The 2-year progression-free survival rate was 57% (95% CI: 49.9-65). It was higher in the groups with favorable or intermediate cytogenetics than in the group with unfavorable cytogenetics (72.7%, 60.5%, and 45.7%, respectively; P=0.03). The cumulative incidence of grades 2-4 and 3-4 acute graft-versus-host disease at day 100 was 19.3% and 7.9%, respectively. The cumulative incidence of chronic graft-versushost disease at 1 year was 21.6% (severe forms: 7.8%). Non-relapse mortality at 1 year reached 11%. The 2-year overall survival rate was 61.8% (95% CI: 54.8-69.7). Unfavorable karyotype and disease status beyond first complete remission were associated with a poorer survival. This well-tolerated conditioning platform can lead to longterm disease control and offers possibilities of modulation according to disease stage or further development.
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