Allogeneic stem cell transplantation (SCT) using reduced-intensity conditioning (RIC) has potential to be a promising treatment of aggressive chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL). Since available clinical data obtained with this novel approach are very limited, we have performed a survey on this issue. Data of 77 patients were collected from 29 European Group for Blood and Marrow Transplantation centers. Median age was 54 (30-66) years, and the median number of previous chemotherapy regimens was 3 (0-8). HLA-identical sibling donors were used in 81% of the cases. Moderate conditioning regimens (mainly low-dose total body irradiation (TBI) or fludarabine-cyclophosphamide combinations) were administered to 56% of the patients, whereas the remainder received more intense conditioning consisting of fludarabine-busulfan or high-dose melphalan combinations. In 40% of the patients, in vivo T-cell depletion (TCD) with anti-thymocyte globulin or CAMPATH-1H was part of the conditioning regimen. Cumulative treatment-related mortality (TRM) was 18% (95% CI 9; 27) after 12 months. Complete chimerism as well as best response was not achieved immediately post-transplant but took a median of 3 months to develop. The 2-year probability of relapse was 31% (95% CI 18; 44), with no event occurring later than 12 months post transplant in the absence of TCD. With one exception, relapses were not observed after onset of chronic graft-versus-host disease. Event-free and overall survival at 24 months were 56% (95% CI 43; 69) and 72% (95% CI 61; 83), respectively. The median follow-up was 18 (1-44) months. Donor lymphocyte infusions or secondary transplants were performed in 19 patients with insufficient disease control and/or incomplete donor chimerism post-transplant, leading to a response in seven patients (37%). Preliminary multivariate analysis identified less than PR at transplant (hazard ratio (HR) 3.5; P2 (HR 5.4; P=0.03), TBI (HR 2.5; P=0.05), and alternative donor (HR 2.3; P=0.08) were risk factors for survival. We conclude that RIC might favorably influence the outcome after allogeneic SCT for CLL by reducing TRM while preserving graft-versus leukemia activity.
- Nonmyeloablative allogeneic stem cell transplantation
- Reduced intensity conditioning
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cancer Research