Medline: 7989932

The abstract Journal of Clinical Oncology 12(12): 2580-2587, 1994. is available online.

The fulltext Journal of Clinical Oncology 12(12): 2580-2587, 1994. may be available online for subscribers.

Allogeneic bone marrow transplantation in adult acute lymphoblastic leukemia in first complete remission: a comparative study.

Sebban C, Lepage E, Vernant J, et al.


Optimal postremission therapy remains controversial in adult patients with acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL). In a large multicentric trial (LALA87), we compared allogeneic bone marrow transplantation (BMT) with other postremission therapies (chemotherapy or autologous transplantation) using the result of the human leukocyte antigen (HLA) typing as a random allocation.

Patients and Methods:
Patient eligibility requirements were as follows: (1) inclusion in LALA87 trial, (2) complete response to induction or salvage therapy, (3) age 15 to 40 years, and (4) at least one potential sibling donor. Patients with an HLA-identical sibling were assigned to the BMT group, while patients without a sibling donor constituted the control group. Allogeneic transplantation was scheduled for patients in the BMT group; in the control group, patients were randomly allocated to receive chemotherapy or autologous transplantation.

Of 284 eligible points, 257 entered the study: 116 were allocated to the BMT group and 141 to the control group. The 5-year survival rates were not statistically significantly different between the two groups. When only patients with high-risk ALL were considered (those with [1] Philadelphia chromosome [Ph1] ALL, [2] null or undifferentiated ALL, or [3] c-ALL with either age greater than 35 years or WBC count > 30 x 10(9)/L or time to achieve complete remission > 4 weeks), overall survival (P = .03) and disease-free-survival (P = .01) were better for the BMT group compared with the control group (5-year overall survival rates, 44% v 20%; 5-year disease-free survival rates, 39% v 14%).

Allogeneic transplantation does not improve survival in patients with standard-risk ALL and should be recommended only for patients with adverse prognostic factors.

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Dr. G. Quade