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.
Long-term outcome after allogeneic hematopoietic stem cell transplantation for Shwachman-Diamond syndrome: a retrospective analysis and a review of the literature by the Severe Aplastic Anemia Working Party of the European Society for Blood and Marrow Transplantation (SAAWP-EBMT)
Bone marrow transplantation. 2020
Allogeneic hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (HSCT) is a curative procedure in patients with Shwachman-Diamond syndrome (SDS) with bone marrow abnormalities. The results of 74 patients with SDS (6 acute myeloid leukemia, 7 myelodysplastic syndrome, and 61 bone marrow failure) treated with HSCT between 1988 and 2016 are reported. The donor source was: 24% sibling, 8% parent, and 68% unrelated donor. The stem cell source was: 70% bone marrow, 19% peripheral blood stem cells, and 11% cord blood. The conditioning regimen was myeloablative in 54% and reduced intensity in 46%. Neutrophil engraftment was achieved in 84% of patients after a median time of 17.5 days. Graft failure occurred in 15% of HSCTs. Grades I-IV acute and chronic GVHD were observed in 55% and 20% of patients, respectively. After a median follow-up of 7.3 years (95% CI 4.8-10.2), 28 patients died for progression/relapse (7) or toxicity (21). The 5-year overall survival and nonrelapse mortality were 63.3% (95% CI 50.8-73.4) and 19.8% (95% CI 10.8-30.8), respectively. In conclusion, this is the largest series so far reported and confirms that HSCT is a suitable option for patients with SDS. Further efforts are needed to lower transplant-related toxicity and reduce graft failure.
Supportive care during pediatric hematopoietic stem cell transplantation: beyond infectious diseases. A report from workshops on supportive care of the Pediatric Diseases Working Party (PDWP) of the European Society for Blood and Marrow Transplantation (EBMT)
Bone marrow transplantation. 2020
Hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (HSCT) is currently the standard of care for many malignant and nonmalignant blood diseases. As several treatment-emerging acute toxicities are expected, optimal supportive measurements critically affect HSCT outcomes. The paucity of good clinical studies in supportive practices gives rise to the establishment of heterogeneous guidelines across the different centers, which hampers direct clinical comparison in multicentric studies. Aiming to harmonize the supportive care provided during the pediatric HSCT in Europe, the Pediatric Diseases Working Party (PDWP) of the European Society for Blood and Marrow Transplantation (EBMT) promoted dedicated workshops during the years 2017 and 2018. The present paper describes the resulting consensus on the management of sinusoidal obstructive syndrome, mucositis, enteral and parenteral nutrition, iron overload, and emesis during HSCT.
Outcome of children relapsing after first allogeneic haematopoietic stem cell transplantation for acute myeloid leukaemia: a retrospective I-BFM analysis of 333 children
British journal of haematology. 2020
Outcome of 333 children with acute myeloid leukaemia relapsing after a first allogeneic haematopoietic stem cell transplantation was analyzed. Four-year probability of overall survival (4y-pOS) was 14%. 4y-pOS for 122 children receiving a second haematopoietic stem cell transplantation was 31% and 3% for those that did not (P = <0.0001). Achievement of a subsequent remission impacted survival (P = <0.0001). For patients receiving a second transplant survival with or without achieving a subsequent remission was comparable. Graft source (bone marrow vs. peripheral blood stem cells, P = 0.046) and donor choice (matched family vs. matched unrelated donor, P = 0.029) positively impacted survival after relapse. Disease recurrence and non-relapse mortality at four years reached 45% and 22%.
Busulfan-cyclophosphamide versus cyclophosphamide-busulfan as conditioning regimen before allogeneic hematopoietic cell transplantation: a prospective randomized trial
Annals of hematology. 2020
Busulfan and cyclophosphamide (BuCy) is a frequently used myeloablative conditioning regimen for allogeneic hematopoietic cell transplantation (allo-HCT). Theoretical considerations and pharmacological data indicate that application of busulfan prior to subsequent cyclophosphamide (BuCy) may trigger liver toxicity. Reversing the order of application to cyclophosphamide-busulfan (CyBu) might be preferable, a hypothesis supported by animal data and retrospective studies. We performed a prospective randomized trial to determine impact of order of application of Bu and Cy before allo-HCT in 70 patients with hematological malignancy, 33 patients received BuCy and 37 CyBu for conditioning. In the short term, there were minimal differences in liver toxicity favoring CyBu over BuCy, significant only for alanine amino transferase at day 30 (p = 0.03). With longer follow-up at 4 years, non-relapse mortality (6% versus 27%, p = 0.05) was lower and survival (63% versus 43%, p = 0.06) was higher with CyBu compared to BuCy. Other outcomes, such as engraftment (p = 0.21), acute and chronic graft-versus-host disease (p = 0.40; 0.36), and relapse (p = 0.79), were similar in both groups. We prospectively show evidence that the order of application of Cy and Bu in myeloablative conditioning in allo-HCT patients has impact on outcome.
Patients with haematological malignancy (n=70)
Busulfan-cyclophosphamide conditioning (BuCy, n=33)
Cyclophosphamide-busulfan conditioning(CyBu, n=37)
In the short term, there were minimal differences in liver toxicity favoring CyBu over BuCy, significant only for alanine amino transferase at day 30. With longer follow-up at 4 years, non-relapse mortality (6% versus 27%) was lower and survival (63% versus 43%) was higher with CyBu compared to BuCy. Other outcomes, such as engraftment acute and chronic graft-versus-host disease, and relapse, were similar in both groups.
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.
Transplant characteristics and self-reported pulmonary outcomes in Swiss childhood cancer survivors after hematopoietic stem cell transplantation-a cohort study
Bone marrow transplantation. 2020
Childhood cancer survivors treated with hematopoietic stem cell transplantation are at high risk for pulmonary morbidity and mortality. In this retrospective study we described transplant characteristics of pediatric patients who underwent hematopoietic stem cell transplantation in Switzerland and how these characteristics changed over time, compared self-reported pulmonary outcomes between transplanted and non-transplanted survivors, and investigated risk factors for the reported pulmonary outcomes. As part of the population-based Swiss Childhood Cancer Survivor Study, we sent questionnaires to all =5-year childhood cancer survivors diagnosed 1976-2010 at age =20 years. We included 132 transplanted survivors and 368 matched non-transplanted survivors. During the study period transplant characteristics changed, with decreasing use of total body irradiation and increased use of peripheral blood stem cells and mismatched and unrelated donors as transplant source. One-fifth of transplanted survivors (20%, 95%CI 13-27%) and 18% of non-transplanted survivors (95%CI 13-21%) reported at least one pulmonary outcome. None of the analyzed factors was significantly associated with an increased risk of pulmonary outcomes in multivariable analysis. We found that pulmonary outcomes were frequently reported in transplanted and non-transplanted childhood cancer survivors, indicating a strong need for long-term pulmonary follow-up care.
Favorable outcomes of hematopoietic stem cell transplantation in children and adolescents with Diamond-Blackfan anemia
Blood advances. 2020;4(8):1760-1769
Diamond-Blackfan anemia (DBA) is a congenital pure red cell aplasia associated with congenital abnormalities and cancer predisposition. Allogeneic hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (HSCT) can correct the hematological phenotype and is indicated in transfusion-dependent patients. In 70 children reported to the German DBA and French HSCT registries, HSCT was performed from 1985 to 2017. Median age at HSCT was 5.5 years (range, 0.9-17.3 years). Two-thirds of patients (64%) were transplanted from a matched sibling donor (MSD), and most procedures were performed after the year 1999 (73%). Primary engraftment was achieved in all patients. One patient developed secondary graft failure. Cumulative incidence of acute graft-versus-host disease (GVHD) was 24% for degrees II-IV (95% confidence interval [CI], 16% to 37%) and 7% for degrees III-IV (95% CI, 3% to 17%); cumulative incidence of chronic GVHD was 11% (95% CI, 5% to 22%). The probability of chronic GVHD-free survival (cGFS) was 87% (95% CI, 79% to 95%) and significantly improved over time (<2000: 68% [95% CI, 47% to 89%] vs ≥2000: 94% [95% CI, 87% to 100%], P < .01). cGFS was comparable following HSCT from a MSD and an unrelated donor (UD). Of note, no severe chronic GVHD or deaths were reported following MSD-HSCT after 1999. The difference of cGFS in children transplanted <10 years of age compared with older patients did not reach statistical significance (<10 years: 90% [95% CI, 81% to 99%] vs 10-18 years 78% [95% CI, 58% to 98%]). In summary, these data indicate that HSCT is efficient and safe in young DBA patients and should be considered if a MSD or matched UD is available. HSCT for transfusion dependency only must be critically discussed in older patients.
Genetic susceptibility to hepatic sinusoidal obstruction syndrome in pediatric patients undergoing HSCT
Biology of blood and marrow transplantation : journal of the American Society for Blood and Marrow Transplantation. 2019
Sinusoidal Obstruction Syndrome (SOS) is a well-recognized and potentially life-threatening complication of hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (HSCT). SOS arises from endothelial cell damage and hepatocellular injury mostly due to the transplantation conditioning regimens but also to other patient, disease and treatment-related factors. Understanding risk factors associated with the development of SOS is critical for early initiation of treatment or prophylaxis. The knowledge about genetic contribution is limited; few studies investigated so far selected set of genes. To get more comprehensive insight in the genetic component, we performed exome-wide association study using genetic variants derived from whole-exome sequencing. The analyses were performed in a discovery cohort composed of 87 pediatric patients undergoing HSCT following busulfan-containing conditioning regimen. Eight lead SNPs were identified after correction for multiple testing and subsequently analyzed in a validation cohort (n=182). Three SNPs were successfully replicated including rs17146905 (p=0.001), rs16931326 (p=0.04) and rs2289971 (p=0.03), located respectively in UGT2B10, BHLHE22 and KIAA1715 genes. UGT2B10 and KIAA1715 were retained in multivariable model while controlling for non-genetic covariates and previously identified risk variants in GSTA1 promoter. The modulation of associations by conditioning regimens was noted, KIAA1715 was dependent on the intensity of conditioning regimen, whereas the effect of UGT2B10 was equally applicable to all of them. Combined effect of associated loci was also observed (p=0.00006) with genotype-related SOS risk of 9.8. This is the first study addressing the genetic component of SOS at an exome-wide level and identifying novel genetic variations conferring higher risk of SOS, which might be useful for personalized prevention and treatment strategies.
Genetic T-cell receptor diversity at 1 year following allogeneic hematopoietic stem cell transplantation
After allogeneic hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (HSCT), immune reconstitution leads to the development of a new T-cell repertoire. Immune reconstitution could be influenced by events such as conditioning, infections, and graft versus host disease (GVHD). Factors influencing the TCR diversity are of great interest to fine-tune the strategy for donor selection and to optimize standard of care. In this work, immunosequencing of the TCR CDR3beta region was carried out in a large cohort of 116 full chimeric recipients at 1 year post-HSCT and their respective donors prior to transplantation. The repertoire overlap before and after HSCT was minimal, supporting de novo reconstitution as a primary pathway at any age. Among the parameters investigated, increased patient and/or donor age as well as positive CMV serologic status reinforced by CMV infection/reactivation were the ones significantly associated with a reduced diversity at 1 year post-HSCT. CMV-specific T-cell clones were shown to influence the clonality of the repertoire alongside the expansion of limited numbers of non-CMV T-cell populations. Interestingly, at the exception of CMV infection/reactivation, TCR diversity was not predictive of GVHD, relapse, death, or infections post-HSCT.