Hematopoietic cell transplant in pediatric acute myeloid leukemia after similar upfront therapy; a comparison of conditioning regimens
Bone marrow transplantation. 2021
The impact of conditioning regimen prior to hematopoietic cell transplant (HCT) in pediatric AML-patients is not well studied. We retrospectively analyzed the impact of Busulfan-Cyclophosphamide (BuCy), Busulfan-Cyclophosphamide-Melphalan (BuCyMel) and Clofarabine-Fludarabine-Busulfan (CloFluBu) in pediatric AML-patients, with similar upfront leukemia treatment (NOPHO-DBHconsortium), receiving an HCT between 2010 and 2015. Outcomes of interest were LFS, relapse, TRM and GvHD. 103 patients were included; 30 received BuCy, 37 BuCyMel, and 36 CloFluBu. The 5-years LFS was 43.3% (SE?±?9.0) in the BuCy group, 59.2 % (SE?±?8.1) after BuCyMel, and 66.7 % (SE?±?7.9) after CloFluBu. Multivariable Cox regression analysis showed a trend to lower LFS after BuCy compared to CloFluBu (p?=?0.07). BuCy was associated with a higher relapse incidence compared to the other regimens (p?=?0.06). Younger age was a predictor for relapse (p?=?0.02). A strong correlation between Busulfan Therapeutic Drug Monitoring (TDM) and lower incidence of aGvHD (p?0.001) was found. In conclusion, LFS after BuCyMel and CloFluBu was comparable, lower LFS was found after BuCy, due to higher relapse incidence. CloFluBu was associated with lower incidence of aGvHD, suggesting lower toxicity with this type of conditioning. This finding is also explained by the impact of Busulfan monitoring.
Acute toxicity and outcome among pediatric allogeneic hematopoietic transplant patients conditioned with treosulfan-based regimens
Pediatric hematology and oncology. 2020;:1-10
Treosulfan-based regimens constitute a feasible and increasingly used, but still myeloablative, conditioning in pediatric allogeneic hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (HSCT). We retrospectively analyzed the acute toxicity and outcome of all consecutive (2004-2015) pediatric HSCT patients prepared for HSCT with treosulfan in a single-center setting. We included HSCTs performed for both nonmalignant (n = 23) and malignant diseases (n = 11). The controls were patients with nonmalignant diseases or hematological malignancies conditioned with cyclophosphamide (Cy)-total body irradiation (TBI)-based (39 patients) or busulfan-based regimens (11 patients). The major toxicities of the treosulfan-based regimens were limited to oral mucosa and skin. 50% of the patients needed IV morphine for severe mucositis compared to 31% in patients conditioned with Cy-TBI (P = 0.02). Other toxicities were rare. The disease-free survival (DFS) of patients transplanted for nonmalignant disorders was 88.9 +/- 7.5% at 2 years. The event-free survival (EFS) at 2 years in this small cohort for those with a malignant disease and a treosulfan-based conditioning was 54.5 +/- 1.5%. We conclude that a treosulfan-based conditioning regimen gives excellent DFS in pediatric HSCT performed for a nonmalignant disorder but with substantial mucosal toxicity. In a malignant disorder a treosulfan-based regimen looks promising but larger, preferably randomized, studies are needed to prove efficacy.
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.
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.
Pediatric acute graft-versus-host disease prophylaxis and treatment: Real-life approach reveals dissimilarities compared to published recommendations
Transplant international : official journal of the European Society for Organ Transplantation. 2020
Pediatric allogeneic hematopoietic cell transplantation (HCT) practices differ from those of adults, particularly the heterogeneity of transplantable non-malignant diseases and the lower incidence of Graft-versus-Host-Disease (GVHD). Several guidelines regarding the management of acute (a) GVHD in adult HCT have been published. We aimed to capture the real-life approaches for pediatric aGVHD prophylaxis/treatment, and data from 75/193 (response rate 39%) EBMT centers (26 countries) were included, representing half (48%) of the pediatric EBMT-HCT activity. Results with ≥75% approval from respondents (74/75) for GVHD prophylaxis after myeloablative HCT for malignancies partially contradict published guidelines: single-agent cyclosporine A (CsA) was used for matched-sibling donor HCT in 47%; blood CsA levels were reported lower; the relapse risk in malignant diseases influenced GVHD prophylaxis with early withdrawal of CsA; distinct longer duration of CsA was employed in non-malignant diseases. Most centers used additional anti-thymocyte globulin for matched-unrelated and mismatched donor HCT, but not for matched-siblings. Regarding prophylaxis in non-myeloablative conditioning (mainly for non-malignant diseases) responses showed broad heterogeneity. High conformity was found for first-line treatment; however, results regarding steroid-refractory aGVHD indicate an earlier diagnosis in children. Our findings highlight the need for standardized pediatric approaches towards aGVHD prophylaxis/treatment differentiated for malignant and non-malignant underlying diseases.
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.
Stem cell transplantation for congenital dyserythropoietic anemia. An analysis from the European society for blood and marrow transplantation
Low burden of minimal residual disease prior to transplantation in children with very high risk acute lymphoblastic leukaemia: The NOPHO ALL2008 experience
British journal of haematology. 2019
The population-based Nordic/Baltic acute lymphoblastic leukaemia (ALL) Nordic Society for Paediatric Haematology and Oncology (NOPHO) ALL2008 protocol combined minimal residual disease (MRD)-driven treatment stratification with very intense first line chemotherapy for patients with high risk ALL. Patients with MRD ≥5% at end of induction or ≥10(-3) at end of consolidation or following two high risk blocks were eligible for haematopoietic cell transplantation (HCT) in first remission. After at least three high risk blocks a total of 71 children received HCT, of which 46 had MRD ≥5% at end of induction. Ten patients stratified to HCT were not transplanted; 12 received HCT without protocol indication. Among 69 patients with evaluable pre-HCT MRD results, 22 were MRD-positive, one with MRD ≥10(-3) . After a median follow-up of 5.5 years, the cumulative incidence of relapse was 23.5% (95% confidence interval [CI]: 10.5-47.7) for MRD-positive versus 5.1% (95% CI: 1.3-19.2), P = 0.02) for MRD-negative patients. MRD was the only variable significantly associated with relapse (hazard ratio 9.1, 95% CI: 1.6-51.0, P = 0.012). Non-relapse mortality did not differ between the two groups, resulting in disease-free survival of 85.6% (95% CI: 75.4-97.2) and 67.4% (95% CI: 50.2-90.5), respectively. In conclusion, NOPHO block treatment efficiently reduced residual leukaemia which, combined with modern transplant procedures, provided high survival rates, also among pre-HCT MRD-positive patients.
T-cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia in patients 1-45 years treated with the pediatric NOPHO ALL2008 protocol
The NOPHO ALL2008 is a population-based study using an unmodified pediatric protocol in patients 1-45 years of age with acute lymphoblastic leukemia. Patients with T-ALL were given a traditional pediatric scheme if fast responding (minimal residual disease (MRD) < 0.1% day 29), or intensive block-based chemotherapy if slow responding (MRD > 0.1% day 29). Both treatment arms included pediatric doses of high-dose methotrexate and asparaginase. If MRD ≥ 5% on day 29 or ≥0.1% after consolidation, patients were assigned to allogeneic hematopoietic stem cell transplantation. The 5-year overall survival of the 278 T-ALL patients was 0.75 (95% CI 0.69-0.81), being 0.82 (0.74-0.88) for patients 1.0-9.9 years, 0.76 (0.66-0.86) for those 10.0-17.9 years, and 0.65 (0.55-0.75) for the older patients. The risk of death in first remission was significantly higher in adults (12%) compared with the 1-9 years group (4%). The MRD responses in the three age groups were similar, and only a nonsignificant increase in relapse risk was found in adults. In conclusion, an unmodified pediatric protocol in patients 1-45 years is effective in all age groups. The traditional pediatric treatment schedule was safe for all patients, but the intensive block therapy led to a high toxic death rate in adults.
Salvage high-dose chemotherapy in female patients with relapsed/refractory germ-cell tumors: a retrospective analysis of the European Group for Blood and Marrow Transplantation (EBMT)
Annals of Oncology. 2017;28(8):1910-1916
Background: High-dose chemotherapy (HDC) with hematopoietic progenitor cell transplantation is a standard option for relapsed/refractory testicular germ-cell tumor (GCT), but only few data have been reported in female patients with GCT. We conducted a retrospective analysis of female patients with GCT treated with HDC and registered with the European Society for Blood and Marrow Transplantation. Patients and methods: Between 1985 and 2013, 60 registered female patients with GCT, median age 27 years (range 15-48), were treated with salvage HDC. Forty patients (67%) had primary ovarian GCT, 8 (13%) mediastinal, 7 (12%) retroperitoneal and 5 (8%) other primary sites/unknown. Twenty-two patients (37%) received HDC as second-line therapy, 29 (48%) as third-line, and 9 (15%) as fourth- to sixth-line. Nine of 60 patients (15%) received HDC as late-intensification with no evidence of metastasis before HDC. The conditioning HDC regimens comprised carboplatin in 51 of 60 cases (85%), and consisted of a single HDC cycle in 31 cases (52%), a multi-cycle HDC regimen in 29 (48%). Results: Nine cases who underwent late intensification HDC were not evaluable for response. Of the other 51 assessable patients, 17 (33%) achieved a complete response (CR), 8 (16%) a marker-negative partial remission (PRm-), 5 (10%) a marker-positive partial remission, 5 (10%) stable disease, and 13 (25%) progressive disease. There were 3 toxic deaths (6%). With an overall median follow-up of 14months (range 1-219), 7 of 9 (78%) patients with late intensification and 18 of the 25 patients (72%) achieving a CR/PRm- following HDC were free of relapse/progression. In total, 25 of 60 patients (42%) were progression-free following HDC at a median follow-up of 87months (range 3-219months). Conclusions: Salvage HDC based on carboplatin represents a therapeutic option for female patients with relapsed/refractory GCT.