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Survival of patients with acute myeloid leukemia relapsing after allogeneic hematopoietic cell transplantation: a center for international blood and marrow transplant research study. Biol Blood Marrow Transplant 2015 Mar;21(3):454-9 PMID: 25460355 PMCID: PMC4329076

Pubmed ID





Acute myeloid leukemia (AML) relapse after allogeneic hematopoietic cell transplantation (alloHCT) remains a major therapeutic challenge. We studied outcomes of 1788 AML patients relapsing after alloHCT (1990 to 2010) during first or second complete remission (CR) to identify factors associated with longer postrelapse survival. Median time to post-HCT relapse was 7 months (range, 1 to 177). At relapse, 1231 patients (69%) received intensive therapy, including chemotherapy alone (n = 660), donor lymphocyte infusion (DLI) ± chemotherapy (n = 202), or second alloHCT ± chemotherapy ± DLI (n = 369), with subsequent CR rates of 29%. Median follow-up after relapse was 39 months (range, <1 to 193). Survival for all patients was 23% at 1 year after relapse; however, 3-year overall survival correlated with time from HCT to relapse (4% for relapse during the 1- to 6-month period, 12% during the 6-month to 2-year period, 26% during the 2- to 3-year period, and 38% for ≥3 years). In multivariable analysis, lower mortality was significantly associated with longer time from alloHCT to relapse (relative risk, .55 for 6 months to 2 years; relative risk, .39 for 2 to 3 years; and relative risk, .28 for ≥3 years; P < .0001) and a first HCT using reduced-intensity conditioning (relative risk, .77; 95% confidence interval [CI], .66 to .88; P = .0002). In contrast, inferior survival was associated with age >40 years (relative risk, 1.42; 95% CI, 1.24 to 1.64; P < .0001), active graft-versus-host disease at relapse (relative risk, 1.25; 95% CI, 1.13 to 1.39; P < .0001), adverse cytogenetics (relative risk, 1.37; 95% CI, 1.09 to 1.71; P = .0062), mismatched unrelated donor (relative risk, 1.61; 95% CI, 1.22 to 2.13; P = .0008), and use of cord blood for first HCT (relative risk, 1.23; 95% CI, 1.06 to 1.42; P = .0078). AML relapse after alloHCT predicted poor survival; however, patients who relapsed ≥6 months after their initial alloHCT had better survival and may benefit from intensive therapy, such as second alloHCT ± DLI.

Author List

Bejanyan N, Weisdorf DJ, Logan BR, Wang HL, Devine SM, de Lima M, Bunjes DW, Zhang MJ


Brent R. Logan PhD Director, Professor in the Institute for Health and Equity department at Medical College of Wisconsin
Mei-Jie Zhang PhD Professor in the Institute for Health and Equity department at Medical College of Wisconsin


2-s2.0-84922925469   61 Citations

MESH terms used to index this publication - Major topics in bold

Age Factors
Child, Preschool
Disease-Free Survival
Hematopoietic Stem Cell Transplantation
Infant, Newborn
Leukemia, Myeloid, Acute
Middle Aged
Retrospective Studies
Risk Factors
Survival Rate
jenkins-FCD Prod-321 98992d628744e349846c2f62ac68f241d7e1ea70