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.
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.
Survival and toxicity outcomes of hematopoietic stem cell transplantation for pediatric patients with Fanconi anemia: a unified multicentric national study from the Spanish Working Group for Bone Marrow Transplantation in Children
Bone marrow transplantation. 2020
Hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (HSCT) is currently the only curative option for hematological manifestations in patients with Fanconi anemia (FA). We report the outcome of 34 patients with FA inside a collaborative multicenter national study based on recommendations of Spanish Working Group for Bone Marrow Transplantation in Children (GETMON) between 2009 and 2016. Fludarabine-based conditioning regimen was carried out in all patients, with low dose total body irradiation in unrelated transplants. Disease status before HSCT was bone marrow failure (BMF) in 30 patients and myelodysplastic syndrome (MDS) in four. Donors were matched siblings donors (MSD) in 18, matched unrelated donors (MUD) in 15, and one haploidentical donor. All except one patient engrafted. Cumulative incidence of grades II-IV acute graft-versus-host disease (GVHD) was 29% and 11% for chronic GVHD. Median follow-up after HSCT was 6.5 years. Seven patients (21%) died due to transplant-related causes, two (6%) because of MDS relapse, and one (3%) after a squamous cell carcinoma. Overall survival (OS) was 73% at 5 years post-transplant, with no differences between MSD and MUD transplants. OS for patients with BMF was 80% while for MDS was 25%. Our data suggest HSCT can cure hematologic manifestations of most FA patients with BMF.
Low-dose liposomal amphotericin B for antifungal prophylaxis in paediatric allogeneic haematopoietic stem cell transplantation
The Journal of antimicrobial chemotherapy. 2020
BACKGROUND Primary antifungal prophylaxis in paediatric allogeneic HSCT recipients is mainly based on azoles, which can have related toxicity and drug interactions. Low-dose liposomal amphotericin B (L-AmB) is an attractive intravenous alternative because of its low toxicity and lower risk of interactions. OBJECTIVES To evaluate the effectiveness and safety of L-AmB (1 mg/kg/day) for primary antifungal prophylaxis in pre-engraftment paediatric HSCT patients. PATIENTS AND METHODS Retrospective, observational study including all consecutive patients aged ≤18 years who underwent HSCT and received antifungal prophylaxis with intravenous L-AmB (1 mg/kg/day, from day -1 to 48 h before discharge) between January 2012 and December 2016. RESULTS In total, 125 HSCT procedures in 118 patients were included, median age 7.2 years (IQR 4.2-11.5). Haematological malignancies were the main underlying condition (63.6%), and 109 (87.2%) were considered at high risk for invasive fungal infection (IFI). Ten patients (7.7%), all high risk, developed breakthrough IFI (three Candida spp., seven invasive mould infections) and tended to have higher overall mortality. The only statistically significant risk factor for IFI was cytomegalovirus co-infection. Adverse events, all grade I, occurred in 25 (20%), requiring L-AmB withdrawal in one case. Overall survival at 30 days was 99.2%. At study completion, one patient had died of IFI. CONCLUSIONS The incidence of breakthrough IFI was comparable to that of previous reports, with a very low rate of significant toxicity. Thus, prophylactic L-AmB may be a safe, effective option for antifungal prophylaxis in the pre-engraftment phase for children undergoing HSCT, even those at high risk.
Solid organ transplantation after haematopoietic stem cell transplantation in childhood: a multicentric retrospective survey
American journal of transplantation : official journal of the American Society of Transplantation and the American Society of Transplant Surgeons. 2018
We report data obtained from a retrospective multicenter pediatric survey on behalf of the European Society for Blood and Marrow Transplantation (EBMT). Information on Solid Organ Transplantation (SOT) performed in pediatric recipients of either autologous or allogeneic hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (HSCT) between 1984 and 2016 were collected in 20 pediatric EBMT Centers (25.6%). Overall, we evaluated data on 44 SOTs following HSCT including 20 liver (LTx), 12 lung (LuTx), 6 heart (HTx), and 6 kidney (KTx) transplantations. The indication for SOT was organ failure related to intractable Graft-versus-Host Disease in 16 children (36.3%), acute or chronic HSCT-related toxicity in 18 (40.9%) and organ dysfunction related to the underlying disease in 10 (22.8%). The median follow-up was 10.9 years (95% CI: 1.7-29.5). The overall survival (OS) rate at 1 and 5 years after SOT was 85.7% and 80.4%, respectively: it was 74% and 63.2% after LTx, 83.2% after HTx, and 100% equally after LuTx and KTx. This multicenter survey confirms that SOT represents a promising option in children with severe organ failure occurred after HSCT. Additional studies are needed to further establish the effectiveness of SOT after HSCT and to better understand the mechanism underlying this encouraging success. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.
Impact of CTLA4 genotype and other immune response gene polymorphisms on outcomes after single umbilical cord blood transplantation
We evaluated the impact of recipient and cord blood unit (CBU) genetic polymorphisms related to immune response on outcomes after unrelated cord blood transplantations (CBTs). Pretransplant DNA samples from 696 CBUs with malignant diseases were genotyped for NLRP1, NLRP2, NLRP3, TIRAP/Mal, IL10, REL, TNFRSF1B, and CTLA4. HLA compatibility was 6 of 6 in 10%, 5 of 6 in 39%, and >=4 of 6 in 51% of transplants. Myeloablative conditioning was used in 80%, and in vivo T-cell depletion in 81%, of cases. The median number of total nucleated cells infused was 3.4 x 107/kg. In multivariable analysis, patients receiving CBUs with GG-CTLA4 genotype had poorer neutrophil recovery (hazard ratio [HR], 1.33; P = .02), increased nonrelapse mortality (NRM) (HR, 1.50; P < .01), and inferior disease-free survival (HR, 1.41; P = .02). We performed the same analysis in a more homogeneous subset of cohort 1 (cohort 2, n = 305) of patients who received transplants for acute leukemia, all given a myeloablative conditioning regimen, and with available allele HLA typing (HLA-A, -B, -C, and -DRB1). In this more homogeneous but smaller cohort, we were able to demonstrate that GG-CTLA4-CBU was associated with increased NRM (HR, 1.85; P = .01). Use of GG-CTLA4-CBU was associated with higher mortality after CBT, which may be a useful criterion for CBU selection, when multiple CBUs are available.