BACKGROUND: Optimal post-remission strategy for patients with acute myeloid leukemia (AML) is matter of intense debate. Recent reports have shown stronger anti-leukemic activity but similar survival for allogeneic stem cell transplantation (allo-HSCT) from matched sibling donor compared to autologous transplantation (auto-HSCT); however, there is scarcity of literature confronting auto-HSCT with allo-HSCT from unrelated donor (UD-HSCT), especially mismatched UD-HSCT.
METHODS: We retrospectively compared outcome of allogeneic transplantation from matched (10/10 UD-HSCT) or mismatched at a single HLA-locus unrelated donor (9/10 UD-HSCT) to autologous transplantation in patients with AML in first complete remission (CR1). A total of 2879 patients were included; 1202 patients received auto-HSCT, 1302 10/10 UD-HSCT, and 375 9/10 UD-HSCT. A propensity score-weighted analysis was conducted to control for disease risk imbalances between the groups.
RESULTS: Matched 10/10 UD-HSCT was associated with the best leukemia-free survival (10/10 UD-HSCT vs auto-HSCT: HR 0.7, p = 0.0016). Leukemia-free survival was not statistically different between auto-HSCT and 9/10 UD-HSCT (9/10 UD-HSCT vs auto-HSCT: HR 0.8, p = 0.2). Overall survival was similar across the groups (10/10 UD-HSCT vs auto-HSCT: HR 0.98, p = 0.84; 9/10 UD-HSCT vs auto-HSCT: HR 1.1, p = 0.49). Notably, in intermediate-risk patients, OS was significantly worse for 9/10 UD-HSCT (9/10 UD-HSCT vs auto-HSCT: HR 1.6, p = 0.049), while it did not differ between auto-HSCT and 10/10 UD-HSCT (HR 0.95, p = 0.88). In favorable risk patients, auto-HSCT resulted in 3-year LFS and OS rates of 59 and 78 %, respectively.
CONCLUSIONS: Our findings suggest that in AML patients in CR1 lacking an HLA-matched sibling donor, 10/10 UD-HSCT significantly improves LFS, but this advantage does not translate in better OS compared to auto-HSCT. In intermediate-risk patients lacking a fully HLA-matched donor, auto-HSCT should be considered as a valid option, as better survival appears to be provided by auto-HSCT compared to mismatched UD-HSCT. Finally, auto-HSCT provided an encouraging outcome in patients with favorable risk AML.
- Acute myeloid leukemia (AML)
- Allogeneic transplantation
- Matched (10/10) and mismatched (9/10) unrelated donor transplantation
- Autologous transplantation
- Post-remission therapy