Reduced intensity conditioning regimens including alkylating chemotherapy do not alter survival outcomes after allogeneic hematopoietic cell transplantation in chronic lymphocytic leukemia compared to low-intensity non-myeloablative conditioning

Niels Smedegaard Andersen, Martin Bornhaeuser, Martin Gramatzki, Peter Dreger, Antonin Vitek, Michal Karas, Mauricette Michallet, Carol Moreno, Michel van Gelder, Anja Henseler, Liesbeth C. de Wreede, Stefan Schoenland, Nicolaus Kroeger, Johannes Schetelig*, CLL subcommittee, Chronic Malignancies Working Party

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Purpose The optimal dose intensity for conditioning prior to allogeneic hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (alloHSCT) for chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) is unknown. Methods We retrospectively compared outcomes of patients who received a first alloHCST after non-myeloablative (NMA) and reduced intensity conditioning (RIC). Data of 432 patients with a median age of 55 years were included, of which 86 patients underwent NMA and 346 RIC. Results The median follow-up after alloHSCT was 4.3 years. Compared to the RIC group, more NMA patients had purine-analog-sensitive disease, were in complete remission and received matched related donor transplantation. After RIC, the probabilities for 5-year OS, EFS, CIR, and NRM were 46%, 38%, 28%, and 35% and after NMA the respective probabilities were 52%, 43%, 25%, and 32%. In multivariate analysis, remission status prior to conditioning but not RIC versus NMA conditioning had a significant impact on CIR, EFS, and OS. Conclusion Presumed higher anti-leukemic activity of RIC versus NMA conditioning did not translate into better outcomes after alloHSCT, but better remission status prior to conditioning did. Effective pathway inhibitor-based salvage therapies combined with NMA conditioning might thus represent the most attractive contemporary approach for alloHSCT for patients with CLL.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2823-2834
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Cancer Research and Clinical Oncology
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2019


  • Relapsed
  • refractory chronic lymphocytic leukemia
  • Allogeneic hematopoietic stem cell transplantation
  • Nonmyeloablative
  • reduced intensity conditioning
  • CLL

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