Myeloablative conditioning for allo-HSCT in pediatric ALL: FTBI or chemotherapy?-A multicenter EBMT-PDWP study
Bone marrow transplantation. 2020
Although most children with acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) receive fractionated total body irradiation (FTBI) as myeloablative conditioning (MAC) for allogeneic hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (allo-HSCT), it is an important matter of debate if chemotherapy can effectively replace FTBI. To compare outcomes after FTBI versus chemotherapy-based conditioning (CC), we performed a retrospective EBMT registry study. Children aged 2-18 years after MAC for first allo-HSCT of bone marrow (BM) or peripheral blood stem cells (PBSC) from matched-related (MRD) or unrelated donors (UD) in first (CR1) or second remission (CR2) between 2000 and 2012 were included. Propensity score weighting was used to control pretreatment imbalances of the observed variables. 3.054 patients were analyzed. CR1 (1.498): median follow-up (FU) after FTBI (1.285) and CC (213) was 6.8 and 6.1 years. Survivals were not significantly different. CR2 (1.556): median FU after FTBI (1.345) and CC (211) was 6.2 years. Outcomes after FTBI were superior as compared with CC with regard to overall survival (OS), leukemia-free survival (LFS), relapse incidence (RI), and nonrelapse mortality (NRM). However, we must emphasize the preliminary character of the results of this retrospective "real-world-practice" study. These findings will be prospectively assessed in the ALL SCTped 2012 FORUM trial.
Comparing the outcomes between TMLI and non-TMLI conditioning regimens for adult high-risk acute lymphoblastic leukemia patients undergoing allogeneic hematopoietic stem cell transplantation: a single-center experience
Leukemia & lymphoma. 2020;:1-9
This study aimed to retrospectively evaluate the outcomes of adult patients with high-risk acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) who received allogeneic hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (allo-HSCT) with either total marrow and lymphoid irradiation (TMLI)-containing or non-TMLI conditioning regimen. Seventy adult patients with high-risk ALL who received allo-HSCT were enrolled in this study and divided into two groups based on the conditioning regimen type (TMLI group: n = 29 and non-TMLI group: n = 41). We noted significant statistical differences in the 1-year estimated cumulative incidence of relapse (25% vs. 46.5%, p = 0.018), the 1-year estimated overall survival (73.1% vs. 52.6%, p = 0.033) and disease-free survival (65.2% vs. 48.2%, p = 0.026) but found no considerable difference in transplant-related mortality (12% vs. 13.4%, p = 0.619) between patients in the TMLI and non-TMLI groups. The TMLI-containing regimen is safe and alternative for patients with high-risk ALL undergoing allo-HSCT.
Once-a-day fractionated total-body irradiation: A regimen tailored to local logistics in allogeneic stem cell transplantation for acute lymphoblastic leukemia
Reports of practical oncology and radiotherapy : journal of Greatpoland Cancer Center in Poznan and Polish Society of Radiation Oncology. 2020;25(3):436-441
Aim: The objective of the study was to estimate the cumulative incidence (CI) of relapse, relapse-free survival (RFS) and overall survival (OS) in ALL patients after a once-a-day fractionated TBI (F-TBI) regimen with 9.9Gy. The secondary objectives were evaluation of short and long-term toxicity and non-relapse mortality (NRM). Background: Total body irradiation (TBI), as a part of the conditioning regimen before allogeneic stem cell transplantation (ASCT) for acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL), allows disease control by eradicating residual blast cells in the transplant recipient. Materials and methods: Retrospective study conducted in patients with ALL who received between March 2003 and December 2013 a conditioning regimen with F-TBI and chemotherapy. Irradiation was delivered with 3.3Gy once-a-day for three consecutive days. Results: Eighty-seven patients were included. The median age was 19 years (range: 5-49 years). The 3-year CI of relapse was 30%. The estimated 3-year RFS and OS were 54% and 58%, respectively. Cumulative incidence of acute graft-versus-host disease (aGVHD) grade II-IV and chronic GVHD (cGVHD) was 31% and 40%, respectively. Interstitial pneumonitis was observed in 2 patients. The 3-year CI of NRM was 16%. In multivariate analysis, cGVHD was associated with a lower CI of relapse (RR=0.26, 95% CI: 0.07-0.95, p=0.04). High-risk cytogenetics was associated with a lower RFS (RR=2, 95 CI: 1.04-3.84, p=0.03). Grade II-IV aGVHD was an independent predictor of higher CI of NRM (RR=6.7, 95% CI: 1.4-31.7, p=0.02). Conclusions: Once-a-day F-TBI regimen is effective, safe and practical in patients who underwent ASCT for ALL.
Irradiation free conditioning regimen is associated with high relapse rate in Egyptian patients with acute lymphoblastic leukemia following allogeneic hematopoietic stem cell transplantation
Journal of the Egyptian National Cancer Institute. 2020;32(1):28
BACKGROUND Allogeneic hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (Allo-HSCT) is a curative treatment for adult patients with acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL). Cyclophosphamide plus total body irradiation (TBI/Cy) or plus busulfan (Bu/Cy) is a widely used pre-transplant conditioning regimen for ALL. We retrospectively compared the overall survival (OS), disease-free survival (DFS), and other transplant outcomes of allo-HSCT in 119 adult patients with ALL who received an HLA-matched sibling allo-HSCT using TBI-based versus non-TBI-based conditioning regimens. Patients were divided into two groups by their conditioning regimen: TBI/Cy or Bu/Cy. RESULTS Median OS was 11 months in the TBI/Cy group and 6.2 months in the Bu/Cy group. Median DFS was 11.1 months in the TBI group versus 6.8 months in the Bu group, without a statistically significant difference. A higher risk of relapse was observed with the Bu/Cy regimen (HR 2.709, CI 95% 1.106 to 6.638, p = 0.029). Patients who received a transplant in ≥ CR2 were associated with poor DFS. CONCLUSION Despite the high relapse rate in the non-TBI regimen (Bu/Cy), both regimens had no statistically significant differences in OS, DFS, and NRM. Additional prospective studies are indeed warranted to evaluate the long-term outcomes of radiation-free regimens, including oral and intravenous busulfan, and compare these regimens with TBI-based ones.
Total Body Irradiation or Chemotherapy Conditioning in Childhood ALL: A Multinational, Randomized, Noninferiority Phase III Study
Journal of clinical oncology : official journal of the American Society of Clinical Oncology. 2020;:Jco2002529
PURPOSE Total body irradiation (TBI) before allogeneic hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (HSCT) in pediatric patients with acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) is efficacious, but long-term side effects are concerning. We investigated whether preparative combination chemotherapy could replace TBI in such patients. PATIENTS AND METHODS FORUM is a randomized, controlled, open-label, international, multicenter, phase III, noninferiority study. Patients = 18 years at diagnosis, 4-21 years at HSCT, in complete remission pre-HSCT, and with an HLA-compatible related or unrelated donor were randomly assigned to myeloablative conditioning with fractionated 12 Gy TBI and etoposide versus fludarabine, thiotepa, and either busulfan or treosulfan. The noninferiority margin was 8%. With 1,000 patients randomly assigned in 5 years, 2-year minimum follow-up, and one-sided alpha of 5%, 80% power was calculated. A futility stopping rule would halt random assignment if chemoconditioning was significantly inferior to TBI (EudraCT: 2012-003032-22; ClinicalTrials.gov: NCT01949129). RESULTS Between April 2013 and December 2018, 543 patients were screened, 417 were randomly assigned, 212 received TBI, and 201 received chemoconditioning. The stopping rule was applied on March 31, 2019. The median follow-up was 2.1 years. In the intention-to-treat population, 2-year overall survival (OS) was significantly higher following TBI (0.91; 95% CI, 0.86 to 0.95; P < .0001) versus chemoconditioning (0.75; 95% CI, 0.67 to 0.81). Two-year cumulative incidence of relapse and treatment-related mortality were 0.12 (95% CI, 0.08 to 0.17; P < .0001) and 0.02 (95% CI, < 0.01 to 0.05; P = .0269) following TBI and 0.33 (95% CI, 0.25 to 0.40) and 0.09 (95% CI, 0.05 to 0.14) following chemoconditioning, respectively. CONCLUSION Improved OS and lower relapse risk were observed following TBI plus etoposide compared with chemoconditioning. We therefore recommend TBI plus etoposide for patients > 4 years old with high-risk ALL undergoing allogeneic HSCT.
What is known?
Allogeneic haematopoietic stem cell transplantation (HSCT) provides a potential curative treatment option for paediatric patients with high risk acute lymphoblastic leukaemia (ALL). Pre-transplant conditioning regimes with total body irradiation (TBI) have resulted in encouraging overall and relapse-free survival but may cause serious long-term side effects. As a result, several studies have investigated TBI-free regimes. A large meta-analysis (1) which included seven randomised controlled trials comparing TBI-based with chemoconditioning regimes demonstrated significantly lower treatment related mortality (TRM) but no overall survival (OS) advantage with TBI-based regimes. A further small randomised study (2) found significantly higher event-free survival (EFS) with TBI-based regimes in patients with unrelated donors, but a non-significant difference only in patients with matched sibling donors. Concerns about late effects of TBI on growth, cognitive function and secondary malignancy however remain. A single centre retrospective study (3) in paediatric ALL concluded that triosulphan based regimes were safe and efficacious while a similar review (4) in adult patients suggested that busulphan and clofarabine could provide an alternative to TBI. This paper reports on the FORUM study. It compares TBI with chemoconditioning regimes to investigate whether optimal chemoconditioning regimens could replace TBI in paediatric patients with high-risk ALL.
What did this paper set out to examine?
This is the largest randomised, controlled, open-label, international, multicentre, phase III trial comparing TBI plus etoposide with chemoconditioning (fludarabine, thiotepa and busulfan or triosulfan) in paediatric ALL to date. It investigates whether chemoconditioning is non-inferior to TBI-based regimes with the primary endpoint of OS. It is also the first study to directly and prospectively compare these regimes in terms of disease-free survival and short- and long-term adverse events. The study aimed to recruit 1000 patients.
What did they show?
Improved OS and lower relapse risk were observed following TBI plus etoposide compared with chemoconditioning. Patients ≤18 years old at diagnosis and aged 4-21 at HSCT with high risk ALL in complete morphological remission with HLA compatible related or unrelated donor were included in the study. Patients were randomised 1:1 to 12Gy TBI with etoposide versus fludarabine, thiotepa and busulfan or triosulphan conditioning. Patients were well matched for baseline characteristics and demographics. Randomisation was stopped early due significant inferiority of chemoconditioning compared with TBI-based regime.
Following randomisation of 417 patients, a futility stopping rule was applied because patients receiving chemoconditioning with fludarabine, thiotepa, and busulfan or treosulfan had inferior OS to those receiving TBI plus etoposide. Two-year OS was 0.91 (95% CI, P <.0001) following TBI versus 0.75 (95% CI) following chemoconditioning. Median follow up was 2.1 years. Relapse was the commonest reason for treatment failure and out of 67 patients who relapsed, there was no difference in OS between conditioning regimes. There was no difference in serious adverse events or GvHD rates between the groups.
What are the implications for practice and for future work?
While TBI is associated with potentially serious long-term side effects, this study supports growing evidence demonstrating improved outcomes for patients undergoing TBI-based conditioning. Here patients receiving TBI-based conditioning had a significantly lower risk of relapse and TRM than those given chemoconditioning.
Of note, TRM in this trial was low compared to previously reported studies. FOCUS reported a 2-year OS and EFS rate of 0.91 and 0.91 respectively, which is the lowest documented TRM in HSCT for high-risk paediatric ALL to date. Additionally, other risk factors thought to impact on outcomes (e.g. leukaemia phenotype, MRD pre-transplant, donor type, etc) were not found to be significant in FOCUS. Only remission status (CR1 vs CR2) and conditioning regime influenced OS and EFS. This may be in part explained by the strong attempts within this study to reduce MRD prior to HSCT in all patients.
This was a noninferiority study which required a sample size of 1000 patients with 2-year minimum follow-up to make analysis of primary outcomes feasible. As the majority of relapses in paediatric ALL occur in the first 24 months, it is unlikely that longer follow up would result in dramatic changes to outcomes.
Non-randomised recruitment in FORUM to assess long-term side effects of TBI, such as secondary malignancy, in FORUM is ongoing. However, no difference in adverse events or incidence of GvHD was found between study groups. The study reports a composite end point of 2-year GVHD-free, relapse-free survival of 72% (95% CI) following TBI plus etoposide and 51% (95% CI, p= .0003) following chemoconditioning which might be a benchmark for future investigations.
Patients diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukaemia at or before 18 years of age, who underwent HSCT aged 4-21 years (n=413)
TBI conditioning (n=212)
Chemoconditioning: fludarabine, thiotepa, and either busulfan or treosulfan (n=201)
The median follow-up was 2.1 years. In the intention-to-treat population, 2-year overall survival (OS) was significantly higher following TBI (0.91) versus chemoconditioning (0.75). Two-year cumulative incidence of relapse and treatment-related mortality were 0.12 and 0.02 following TBI and 0.33 and 0.09 following chemoconditioning, respectively.
The effect of melphalan dose and total body irradiation as reduced-intensity conditioning for acute lymphoblastic leukemia patients undergoing allogeneic stem cell transplantation
Leukemia & lymphoma. 2019;:1-8
To evaluate the prognostic impact of melphalan dose and total body irradiation (TBI) in acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) patients undergoing reduced-intensity allogeneic transplantation, we retrospectively compared the outcomes between higher-dose melphalan (120-140 mg/m(2)) with (HDM/TBI+, n = 118) or without 2-4 Gy TBI (HDM/TBI-, n = 152) and lower-dose melphalan (80-110 mg/m(2)) with TBI (LDM/TBI+, n = 237). At 3 years, the overall survival was 49.6% in the HDM/TBI+, 51.7% in the HDM/TBI-, and 47.3% in the LDM/TBI + groups (p = .67). The relapse rate and non-relapse mortality were comparable among the three groups. Multivariate analysis revealed that conditioning regimen was not associated with overall survival, relapse, and non-relapse mortality; however, central nervous system complication was less frequent with LDM/TBI + than with HDM/TBI+. Our findings suggest reduced-intensity conditioning with LDM/TBI + might be a reasonable option, especially in vulnerable ALL patients, with similar transplant outcomes to HDM with or without TBI.
Central Nervous System Relapse After Stem Cell Transplantation in Adolescents and Young Adults with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia: A Single-Institution Experience
Journal of adolescent and young adult oncology. 2019
Purpose: To evaluate outcomes and central nervous system (CNS) relapse in adolescents and young adults (AYAs) with acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL), who underwent total body irradiation (TBI) before allogeneic hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (allo-SCT). Methods: A total of 136 AYA patients with ALL who received TBI before allo-SCT between 1998 and 2018 were reviewed. Twenty patients received cranial radiation in their initial treatment before conditioning for transplant and were excluded. Competing risk analysis was used to estimate the cumulative incidence of relapse. Kaplan-Meier and log-rank tests were used to calculate overall survival (OS) and to identify factors predictive of relapse. OS and time to relapse were calculated from date of allo-SCT. Results: One hundred sixteen patients were included in the analysis. Median age was 27 years and median follow-up time was 42 months. Twenty-six patients suffered a disease relapse and 49 died, 26 of posttransplantation complications. The median time to relapse was 7 months and the 5-year OS was 60%. Seven patients had a CNS relapse: 4 of 20 patients (25%) with pre-SCT CNS disease had a post-allo-SCT CNS relapse compared to 3 of 97 (3.1%) without pre-SCT CNS disease. Median time to CNS relapse was 7 months. Patients with post-SCT CNS relapse had median OS of 19 months. Conclusions: AYA patients with CNS disease who undergo an allo-SCT have a high rate of CNS relapse. The addition of additional CNS-directed therapy to transplant protocols warrants further investigation.
The impact of total body irradiation-based regimens on outcomes in children and young adults with acute lymphoblastic leukemia undergoing allogeneic hematopoietic stem cell transplantation
Pediatric blood & cancer. 2019;:e28079
INTRODUCTION Total body irradiation (TBI)-based conditioning is the standard of care in the treatment of acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) that requires allogeneic hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (HSCT). However, TBI is known to be associated with an increased risk of late effects, and therefore, non-TBI regimens have also been utilized successfully. A recent study showed that patients that were next-generation sequencing-minimal residual disease (NGS-MRD) negative prior to allogeneic HSCT had a very low risk of relapse, and perhaps could avoid exposure to TBI without compromising disease control. We examined outcomes at our institution in patients that received a TBI or non-TBI regimen, as well as explored the impact of NGS-MRD status in predicting risk of relapse post transplant. PROCEDURES This retrospective analysis included 57 children and young adults with ALL that received their first myeloablative allogeneic HSCT from 2012 to 2017 at the University of California San Francisco. Our primary endpoint was the cumulative incidence of relapse at 3 years post transplant. RESULTS We demonstrated similar cumulative incidence of relapse for patients treated with either a TBI or non-TBI conditioning regimen, while NGS-MRD positivity prior to transplant was highly predictive of relapse. The presence of acute graft-versus-host disease was associated with decreased relapse rates, particularly among patients that received a TBI conditioning regimen and patients that were NGS-MRD positive prior to HSCT. CONCLUSIONS Our data suggest that the decision to use either a TBI or non-TBI regimens in ALL should depend on NGS-MRD status, with conditioning regimens based on TBI reserved for patients that cannot achieve NGS-MRD negativity prior to allogeneic HSCT.
Higher Reported Lung Dose Received during Total Body Irradiation for Allogeneic Hematopoietic Stem Cell Transplantation in Children with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia is Associated with Inferior Survival: A Report from the Children's Oncology Group
International journal of radiation oncology, biology, physics. 2019
PURPOSE To examine the relationship between lung radiation dose and survival outcomes in children undergoing total body irradiation (TBI)-based hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (HSCT) for acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) on Children's Oncology Group (COG) trial. PATIENTS AND METHODS TBI (1200 or 1320 cGy given twice daily in 6 or 8 fractions) was used as part of 3 HSCT preparative regimens; allowing institutional flexibility regarding TBI techniques, including lung shielding. Lung doses as reported by each participating institution were calculated for different patient setups, with and without shielding, with a variety of dose calculation techniques. The association between lung dose and transplant-related mortality (TRM), relapse-free (RFS) and overall-survival (OS) was examined using Cox proportional hazard regression model controlling for the following variables: TBI dose rate, TBI fields, patient position during TBI, donor type, and pre-HSCT minimal residual disease (MRD) level. RESULTS From a total of 143 eligible patients127 had lung doses available for this analysis. The TBI techniques were heterogeneous. The mean lung dose was reported as 904.5cGy (SD +/-232.3). Patients treated with lateral fields were more likely to receive lung doses ≥800cGy (p<0.001). Lung dose ≥800cGy influence on TRM was not significant (HR 1.78; p=0.21). On univariate analysis, lung dose ≥800cGy was associated with inferior RFS (HR 1.76; p=0.04) and OS (HR 1.85; p=0.03); in the multivariate analysis, OS maintained statistical significance (HR 1.85; p=0.04). CONCLUSION The variability in TBI techniques result in an uncertainty with reported lung doses. Lateral fields were associated with higher lung dose, hence better be avoided. Patients treated with lung dose <800 cGy in this study had better outcome. This approach is currently been investigated in COG AALL1331 study. Additionally, the Imaging and Radiation Oncology Core (IROC) Group is evaluating effects of TBI techniques on lung doses using a phantom.
Children with acute lymphoblastic leukaemia undergoing allogeneic stem cell transplantation (n=143)
TBI (1200 or 1320 cGy given twice daily in 6 or 8 fractions), given with or without shielding, using heterogeneous TBI techniques.
Lung doses as reported by each participating institution were calculated for different patient setups.
The mean lung dose was reported as 904.5cGy. Patients treated with lateral fields were more likely to receive lung doses >/=800cGy. Lung dose >/=800cGy influence on TRM was not significant. On univariate analysis, lung dose >/=800cGy was associated with inferior RFS and OS; in the multivariate analysis, OS maintained statistical significance. The variability in TBI techniques resulted in an uncertainty with reported lung doses. Patients treated with lung dose <800 cGy had better outcome.
Long-term outcomes of total body irradiation plus cyclophosphamide versus busulfan plus cyclophosphamide as conditioning regimen for acute lymphoblastic leukemia: a comparative study
Annals of hematology. 2018
The role of total body irradiation (TBI) in allogeneic hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (HCT) for adult acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) remains controversial. Therefore, we investigated long-term treatment outcomes of transplanted ALL patients aiming to identify prognostic factors and the impact of conditioning. We enrolled consecutive ALL patients transplanted from 1990 to 2016, following TBI- or busulfan (Bu)-based conditioning regimen. We studied 151 ALL patients transplanted in first complete remission (CR) (60), other CR (33), or relapsed/refractory disease (58) from sibling (87), and HLA-matched (42) or mismatched (17) unrelated and alternative donors (5). High-dose fractionated TBI-based conditioning was administered in 84. No differences were observed in baseline characteristics, except for disease stage at transplant, donor type, and graft source. With a follow-up of 19.0 (0.5-170.5) in TBI and 14.5 (1.2-319.1) months in non-TBI patients, there was no difference in acute (grades II-IV) or chronic GVHD, thrombotic microangiopathy, and bacterial or fungal infections. Only viral infections were significantly increased in the non-TBI group. There was no significant difference in the cumulative incidence (CI) of treatment-related or relapse mortality and disease-free or overall survival (OS). In the multivariate analysis, unfavorable pre-transplant predictors of OS were age (p = 0.024), advanced disease stage (p = 0.007), and female-to-male donor (p = 0.006). Interestingly, TBI patients younger than 40 years had significantly higher OS (55.1%, p = 0.023) and DFS (48.6%, p = 0.020). In conclusion, high-dose TBI is feasible in younger patients providing better survival. The choice between TBI- or Bu-conditioning regimens remains challenging.