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J Clin Oncol. 2005 May 20;23(15):3433-8. Epub 2005 Apr 4.

Allogeneic stem-cell transplantation may overcome the adverse prognosis of unmutated VH gene in patients with chronic lymphocytic leukemia.

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  • 1Department of Hematology, Institute of Hematology and Oncology, Hospital Clínic, Villarroel, 170, 08036 Barcelona, Spain.



To investigate whether allogeneic stem-cell transplantation (allo-SCT) may overcome the negative impact of unmutated VH genes in the outcome of patients with chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL).


We analyzed the outcome of patients who underwent SCT according to their VH mutational status.


Thirty-four patients (14 allo-SCT and 20 autologous SCT [auto-SCT]) presented unmutated VH genes and 16 patients presented mutated VH genes (nine allo-SCT and seven auto-SCT). Tumoral burden pre-SCT was significantly higher in the allo-SCT patients independent of the VH mutational status. The risk of relapse was significantly higher after auto-SCT (5-year risk, 61%; 95% CI, 44% to 84%) than after allo-SCT (5-year risk 12%, 95% CI, 3% to 44%; P < .05). In the unmutated group, 13 of 20 auto-SCT and two of 14 allo-SCT patients experienced disease progression, with a risk of relapse at 5 years of 66% (95% CI, 48% to 93%) v 17% (95% CI, 5% to 60%), respectively (P = .01).


These results show that allo-SCT may overcome the unfavorable effect of unmutated VH genes in patients with CLL.

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