Background. Transplantation of blood or bone-marrow stem cells is the treatment of choice for selected patients with chronic myeloid leukaemia (CML). Transplantation is used with increasing frequency and success, but remains associated with substantial risks of morbidity and mortality. Other treatments with satisfactory short-term outcome are available. For appropriate counselling of patients, a rapid and simple way to assess risk is needed. Methods. Data from 3142 patients (1873 [60%] male, 1269 [40%] female; mean age 34 years, range <1-60 years) treated with allogeneic blood or marrow transplants for CML between 1989 and 1997, reported to the European Group for Blood and Marrow Transplantation (EBMT), were used to develop and test a simple risk score based on previously reported major pretransplant risk factors: histocompatibility, stage of disease at time of transplantation, age and sex of donor and recipient, and time from diagnosis to transplantation. We analysed probabilities of survival, leukaemia-free survival, transplant-related mortality, and relapse incidence with respect to these risk factors. Findings. At the time of analysis, 1922 (61%) of the 3142 patients were alive - 1567 (65%) of those with HLA-identical sibling donors and 417 (57%) of those with unrelated donors. 1682 (54%) were alive without relapse. 1220 (39%) patients had died, 1013 (83%) of transplant-related causes, 207 (17%) of relapse. 447 (14%) patients had relapsed. The final scoring system was highly predictive for leukaemia-free survival, survival and transplant-related mortality. Survival at 5 years was 72%, 70%, 62%, 48%, 40%, 18%, and 22% for patients with scores 0, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, and 6, respectively. Risk of transplant-related mortality was 20%, 23%, 31%, 46%, 51%, 71%, and 73%. Data showed the same trends for HLA-identical sibling transplants and unrelated transplants for transplants done in 1989-93 and 1994-96. Interpretation. Pretransplant risk factors are cumulative for individual patients with CML having blood or marrow transplantation. A simple system based on five main factors gives adequate risk assessment for counselling of patients and taking decisions.
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