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Biol Blood Marrow Transplant. 2007 Aug;13(8):925-31. Epub 2007 May 29.

Long-term outcome of myeloablative allogeneic stem cell transplantation for multiple myeloma.

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The Leukemia/Bone Marrow Transplantation Program of British Columbia, Division of Hematology, Vancouver General Hospital, British Columbia Cancer Agency and the University of British Columbia, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.


Allogeneic stem cell transplantation (alloSCT) has been used in the hopes of harnessing the curative potential of the graft-versus-myeloma effect. This study examines the long-term outcomes of a large cohort of patients with myeloma who were treated with myeloablative alloSCT at a single center. Comparisons are made with those who were treated with autologous stem cell transplantation (ASCT). Between January 1989 and February 2002, 158 patients age<or=55 years underwent SCT for myeloma. Seventy-two patients underwent myeloablative alloSCT (58 related; 14 unrelated), whereas 86 patients underwent ASCT. Most patients received single-agent high dose dexamethasone or VAD (vincristine, adriamycin, dexamethasone) therapy pre-SCT. Conditioning regimens were melphalan-based for all ASCT patients, whereas the alloSCT patients received melphalan-based (70%), total-body irradiation (TBI)-based (18%), or other (13%). Patients who underwent alloSCT were younger, had a higher Durie-Salmon stage disease, and a shorter median time from diagnosis to transplant. Myeloma subtypes were similar between groups. Other pre-SCT (BMT) characteristics were similar except that ASCT patients had a higher proportion of cases that received palliative radiotherapy pre-SCT. Disease response pre-SCT was similar. At last follow-up, 61 of 158 patients are alive with a median follow-up of 88.4 months (range: 35.5-208.5). The overall survival (OS) of the alloSCT cohort was 48.1% at 5 years and 39.9% at 10 years compared to 46.2% at 5 years and 30.8% at 10 years for the ASCT cohort (P=.94). The event-free survival of the alloSCT cohort was 33.3% at 5 years and 31.4% at 10 years compared to 32.9% and 15.2%for the ASCT cohort (P=.64). Treatment-related mortality (TRM) at 1 year was 22% for the alloSCT cohort and 14% in the ASCT cohort (P=.21). Cumulative incidence of grade II-IV acute graft-versus-host disease (aGVHD) was 72% and the cumulative incidence of chronic GVHD (cGVHD) was 68% at 2 years. Neither aGVHD nor cGVHD had an influence on OS or event-free survival, although 5 of 14 patients who have received donor lymphocyte infusions (DLI) have had disease response. The risk of relapse was reduced in those who developed aGVHD (P=.02) but not cGVHD (P=.23). In conclusion, although there are patient who are alive without disease>10 years post myeloablative alloSCT, similarly there are long-term survivors post-ASCT. Myeloablative alloSCT should not be considered standard treatment, and should only be considered in the context of a clinical trial.

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