Long-Term Survival and Late Effects among One-Year Survivors of Second Allogeneic Hematopoietic Cell Transplantation for Relapsed Acute Leukemia and Myelodysplastic Syndromes

Christine N. Duncan, Navneet S. Majhail*, Ruta Brazauskas, Zhiwei Wang, Jean-Yves Cahn, Haydar A. Frangoul, Robert J. Hayashi, Jack W. Hsu, Rammurti T. Kamble, Kimberly A. Kasow, Nandita Khera, Hillard M. Lazarus, Alison W. Loren, David I. Marks, Richard T. Maziarz, Paulette Mehta, Kasiani C. Myers, Maxim Norkin, Joseph A. Pidala, David L. PorterVijay Reddy, Wael Saber, Bipin N. Savani, Harry C. Schouten, Amir Steinberg, Donna A. Wall, Anne B. Warwick, William A. Wood, Lolie C. Yu, David A. Jacobsohn, Mohamed L. Sorror

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


We analyzed the outcomes of patients who survived disease-free for 1 year or more after a second allogeneic hematopoietic cell transplantation (HCT) for relapsed acute leukemia or myelodysplastic syndromes between 1980 and 2009. A total of 1285 patients received a second allogeneic transplant after disease relapse; among these, 325 were relapse free at 1 year after the second HCT. The median time from first to second HCT was 17 and 24 months for children and adults, respectively. A myeloablative preparative regimen was used in the second transplantation in 62% of children and 45% of adult patients. The overall 10-year conditional survival rates after second transplantation in this cohort of patients who had survived disease-free for at least 1 year was 55% in children and 39% in adults. Relapse was the leading cause of mortality (77% and 54% of deaths in children and adults, respectively). In multivariate analyses, only disease status before second HCT was significantly associated with higher risk for overall mortality (hazard ratio, 1.71 for patients with disease not in complete remission before second HCT, P <.01). Chronic graft-versus-host disease (GVHD) developed in 43% and 75% of children and adults after second transplantation. Chronic GVHD was the leading cause of nonrelapse mortality, followed by organ failure and infection. The cumulative incidence of developing at least 1 of the studied late effects within 10 years after second HCT was 63% in children and 55% in adults. The most frequent late effects in children were growth disturbance (10-year cumulative incidence, 22%) and cataracts (20%); in adults they were cataracts (20%) and avascular necrosis (13%). Among patients with acute leukemia and myelodysplastic syndromes who receive a second allogeneic HCT for relapse and survive disease free for at least 1 year, many can be expected to survive long term. However, they continue to be at risk for relapse and nonrelapse morbidity and mortality. Novel approaches are needed to minimize relapse risk and long-term transplantation morbidity in this population. American Society for Blood and Marrow Transplantation.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)151-158
JournalBiology of Blood and Marrow Transplantation
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2015


  • Hematopoietic cell transplantation
  • Allogeneic transplantation
  • Second transplantation
  • Long-term survival
  • Late effects


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