Occurrence of long-term effects after hematopoietic stem cell transplantation in children affected by acute leukemia receiving either busulfan or total body irradiation: results of an AIEOP (Associazione Italiana Ematologia Oncologia Pediatrica) retrospective study
Patients given allogeneic hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (alloHSCT) present an increased incidence of long-term toxicities that can be attributed to the preparative regimen. We retrospectively analyzed in a population of 670 children receiving allo-HSCT for acute leukemia the occurrence of different late effects in function of the choice made between total body irradiation (TBI) and busulfan, as part of the
preparative regimen. In univariable analysis, we found that patients treated with TBI developed cataract in 24% of the cases compared with 4% in patients treated with BU (p = 0.0001) and that the incidence of secondary malignant neoplasia (SMN) was higher in patients treated with TBI (18%) as compared with those prepared to the allograft with a Bu-based regimen (0%) (p = 0.019). Conditioning regimen did not show a statistically significant correlation with the occurrence of all the other investigated late effects. In multivariable analysis, TBI remained associated with the occurrence of cataracts (Relative Risk: 0.33 p = 0.012) and secondary malignancies (Relative Risk 3.96 x 10e-6 p < 0.001); however, other variables, as GvHD and disease type, were also correlated with these long-term sequels, indicating that in our study population the preparative regimen is not the only factor influencing the incidence of these complications.