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Blood Rev. 1994 Sep;8(3):161-8.

Autologous bone marrow transplantation in acute lymphoblastic leukaemia.

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  • 1Department of Haematology, Royal Victoria Infirmary, Newcastle upon Tyne, UK.


There has been a great deal of interest in the use of high dose chemotherapy and/or radiotherapy, with autologous bone marrow/peripheral blood stem cell rescue, in the treatment of haematological malignancies including acute lymphoblastic leukaemia (ALL). In this review we assess the role of autologous bone marrow transplantation (ABMT) in ALL. The heterogeneity of this disease makes the analysis of treatment results in ALL difficult to interpret. There is some evidence that ABMT may be useful in second complete remission (CR) and increasing interest in ABMT as a therapeutic option in first CR in adults. At the moment there is little evidence that such an approach will have an impact in childhood ALL. ABMT is considerably less toxic than allogeneic bone marrow transplantation and the major cause of 'treatment failure' is disease relapse. There has been considerable effort put into purging autologous bone marrow of malignant stem cells but whether purging is effective remains controversial and not proven. Newer studies involving cytokines post-ABMT to stimulate an artificial 'graft versus leukaemia' effect may prove of value.

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