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Haematologica. 2019 Feb;104(2):380-391. doi: 10.3324/haematol.2018.200253. Epub 2018 Sep 27.

Long-term follow up of tandem autologous-allogeneic hematopoietic cell transplantation for multiple myeloma.

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Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, Clinical Research Division, Seattle, WA, USA.
University of Washington School of Public Health, Seattle, WA, USA.
Department of Medicine, Seattle, WA, USA.
University of Turin, Department of Molecular Biotechnology and Health Sciences, Turin, Italy.
City of Hope National Medical Center/Southern California Kaiser Permanente Medical Group, Duarte, CA, USA.
Stanford University, CA, USA.
VA Puget Sound Medical Health Care System, Seattle, WA, USA.
Medical College of Wisconsin, Milwaukee, USA.
University of Leipzig, Germany.
Children's Hospital of Los Angeles, CA, USA.
Colorado Blood Cancer Institute, Denver, CO, USA.
Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, Clinical Research Division, Seattle, WA, USA


We previously reported initial results in 102 multiple myeloma (MM) patients treated with sequential high-dose melphalan and autologous hematopoietic cell transplantation followed by 200 cGy total body irradiation with or without fludarabine 90 mg/m2 and allogeneic hematopoietic cell transplantation. Here we present long-term clinical outcomes among the 102 initial patients and among 142 additional patients, with a median follow up of 8.3 (range 1.0-18.1) years. Donors included human leukocyte antigen identical siblings (n=179) and HLA-matched unrelated donors (n=65). A total of 209 patients (86%) received tandem autologous-allogeneic upfront, while thirty-five patients (14%) had failed a previous autologous hematopoietic cell transplantation before the planned autologous-allogeneic transplantation. Thirty-one patients received maintenance treatment at a median of 86 days (range, 61-150) after allogeneic transplantation. Five-year rates of overall survival (OS) and progression-free survival (PFS) were 54% and 31%, respectively. Ten-year OS and PFS were 41% and 19%, respectively. Overall non-relapse mortality was 2% at 100 days and 14% at five years. Patients with induction-refractory disease and those with high-risk biological features experienced shorter OS and PFS. A total of 152 patients experienced disease relapse and 117 of those received salvage treatment. Eighty-three of the 117 patients achieved a clinical response, and for those, the median duration of survival after relapse was 7.8 years. Moreover, a subset of patients who became negative for minimal residual disease (MRD) by flow cytometry experienced a significantly lower relapse rate as compared with MRD-positive patients (P=0.03). Our study showed that the graft-versus-myeloma effect after non-myeloablative allografting allowed long-term disease control in standard and high-risk patient subsets. Ultra-high-risk patients did not appear to benefit from tandem autologous/allogeneic hematopoietic cell transplantation because of early disease relapse. Incorporation of newer anti-MM agents into the initial induction treatments before tandem hematopoietic cell transplantation and during maintenance might improve outcomes of ultra-high-risk patients. Clinical trials included in this study are registered at: identifiers: 00075478, 00005799, 01251575, 00078858, 00105001, 00027820, 00089011, 00003196, 00006251, 00793572, 00054353, 00014235, 00003954.

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