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Blood. 1996 Dec 15;88(12):4711-8.

Allogeneic bone marrow transplantation versus autologous stem cell transplantation in multiple myeloma: a retrospective case-matched study from the European Group for Blood and Marrow Transplantation.

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  • 1Department of Medicine, Karolinska Institute and Huddinge Hospital, Sweden.


A retrospective case-matched analysis was performed comparing 189 myeloma patients treated with allogeneic bone marrow transplantation (allo-BMT) with an equal number of patients who received autologous stem cell transplantation (ASCT). Matching was performed with respect to gender and number of treatment lines before transplantation. The groups were comparable with the exception of median age (43 years for allo-BMT v 49 years for ASCT, P = .0001) and median posttransplant follow-up (46 months for allo-BMT v 30 months for ASCT, P = .0003). The overall survival was significantly better for ASCT than for allo-BMT, with a median survival of 34 months and 18 months, respectively (P = .001). However, this survival advantage was only observed in men, but not in women. The statistically significant survival advantage for ASCT was seen in most subgroups, ie, chemotherapy-responsive patients, patients who had received two or more treatment lines before transplantation, patients in partial remission, patients with an IgG-subtype, patients older than 46 years of age, patients with stage II disease, and patients with a low or high serum-beta-2-microglobulin at diagnosis. The main reason for the poorer survival in allo-BMT patients was higher transplant-related mortality (41% v 13% for ASCT, P = .0001), which was not compensated for by a lower rate of relapse and progression. However, in patients alive at 1 year posttransplant, there was a trend for better long-term survival (P = .09) and significantly better progression-free survival (P = .02) for allo-BMT as compared with ASCT. We conclude that the median survival is superior for ASCT. However, allo-BMT has a lower relapse rate, which results in a similar long-term outcome for both approaches, but a longer follow-up is needed to assess the final outcome.

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