On Tuesday 20 March 2018, at the 44th Annual Meeting of the European Society for Blood and Marrow Transplantation (EBMT), Lisbon, Portugal, Martin Sauer from Hannover Medical School, Pediatric Hematology and Oncology, Hannover, Germany, on behalf of his colleagues presented data of their retrospective analysis investigating the outcomes of children with relapsed acute myeloid leukemia (AML) after first allogeneic hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (allo-HCT) or second HCT.
In total, 336 children (median age = 8.6 years [range, 0.4-26.0]) experiencing relapse after first allo-HCT between 2005–present were enrolled and analyzed in this study. Primary endpoints of the study included overall survival (OS) and risk factor identification.
- 4-year OS and event-free survival (EFS) in all children were 14% (standard error, SE = 0.02) and 2% (SE = 0.01) respectively
- 4-year OS in children relapsing < 6 months or ≥ 6 months after first HCT: 7% vs 29% , P < 0.0001
- 4-year OS in children receiving PBSC/Cord graft and children receiving BM graft: 23% (SE = 0.06) vs 49% (SE = 0.09), P = 0.036
Second allo-HCT was performed in 123(36.6%) children. Reasons for not performing a second HCT included disease progression and failure to achieve another remission (55%), other reasons such as parental decision and palliation (33%) and poor performance status (12%).
- 4-year OS in patients with (n = 123) or without (n = 213) second HCT: 32% vs 3%, P < 0.0001
- Causes of death after second HCT:
- Underlying disease (relapse, progression, or persistence): 65%
- HCT related cause: 22%
- Other (infection, multi-organ failure, hemorrhage): 14%
Martin Sauer concluded his talk by stating that survival for children with AML experiencing relapse after first transplantation is very unlikely without undergoing a second HCT. Moreover, relapse after first HCT is an evocative risk factor. Also, children receiving HLA-identical sibling bone marrow graft have a higher chance of survival.