Purpose: We reported encouraging early results of allogeneic hematopoietic cell transplantation (HCT) after nonmyeloablative conditioning in 64 patients who had advanced chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL). Here, we have extended the follow-up to a median of 5 years and have included data on an additional 18 patients. Patients and Methods: Eighty-two patients, age 42 to 72 years, who had fludarabine-refractory CLL were conditioned with 2 Gy total-body irradiation alone or combined with fludarabine followed by HCT from related (n = 52) or unrelated (n = 30) donors. Results: Complete remission (CR) and partial remission were achieved in 55% and 15% of patients, respectively. Higher CR rates were noted after unrelated HCT (67% v 48%). The 5-year incidences of nonrelapse mortality (NRM), progression/relapse, overall survival, and progression-free survival were 23%, 38%, 50%, and 39%, respectively. Among 25 patients initially reported in CR, 8% relapsed and 8% died as a result of NRM, whereas 84% have remained alive and in CR. Among 14 responding patients who were tested and who had molecular eradication of their disease, two died as a result of NRM, two relapsed, and 10 have remained negative. At 5 years, 76% of living patients were entirely well, whereas 24% continued to receive immunosuppression for chronic graft-versus-host disease; the median performance status in each group was 100% and 90%, respectively. Lymphadenopathy ≥ 5 cm, but not cytogenetic abnormalities at HCT, predicted relapse. In a risk-stratification model, patients who had lymphadenopathy less than 5 cm and no comorbidities had a 5-year OS of 71%. Conclusion: Nonmyeloablative HCT resulted in a median survival of 5 years for patients who had fludarabine-refractory CLL with sustained remissions and in the continued resolution of chronic graft-versus-host disease in surviving patients.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cancer Research