Purpose: To determine the role of myeloablative conditioning and unrelated donor (URD) bone marrow transplantation in the treatment of patients with advanced B-cell chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL). Patients and Methods: A total of 38 CLL patients received a matched URD transplant using bone marrow procured by the National Marrow Donor Program. The median age was 45 years (range, 26 to 57 years), the median time from diagnosis was 51 months, and the median number of prior chemotherapy regimens was three. Fifty-five percent of patients were chemotherapy refractory and 89% had received fludarabine. Conditioning included total-body irradiation in 92% of patients. Graft-versus-host disease (GVHD) prophylaxis consisted of methotrexate with cyclosporine or tacrolimus for 82% of patients. Results: Twenty-one patients (58%) achieved complete response and six (17%) achieved partial response. Incidences of grades 2 to 4 acute GVHD were 45% at 100 days and incidences of chronic GVHD were 85% at 5 years. Eleven patients are alive and disease free at a median of 6 years (range, 3.0 to 9.0 years). Five-year overall survival, failure-free survival, disease progression rates, and treatment-related mortality (TRM) were 33%, 30%, 32%, and 38% respectively. Conclusion: These data demonstrate that lasting remissions can be achieved after URD transplantation in patients with advanced CLL. High TRM suggest that myeloablative conditioning and HLA-mismatched donors should be avoided in future protocols, and it is mandatory to investigate transplant strategies with a lower morbidity and mortality, including the use of nonmyeloablative regimens.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cancer Research