Allogeneic bone marrow transplantation for acute leukaemia: Comparative outcomes for adults and children

D. J. Weisdorf, P. B. McGlave, N. K.C. Ramsay, W. J. Miller, M. E. Nesbit, W. G. Woods, A. I. Goldman, T. H. Kim, J. H. Kersey

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30 Scopus citations


Advances in both allogeneic marrow transplantation and conventional therapy for acute leukaemia have complicated the choice between bone marrow transplantation (BMT) and other remission treatment options. Because older patients may be more susceptible to BMT-related complications, this study analysed the effect of age on clinical outcome for 149 patients with acute leukaemia in remission receiving allogeneic BMT. Overall projected relapse-free survival at 3 years post-transplant is equivalent for 48 adults (18 years or older) and 101 children (less than 18) at 45.4% (31.1-59.6; 95% confidence interval) and 39.9% (30.1-49.7; 95% C.I.), respectively. Among 73 patients with acute lymphocytic leukaemia (ALL) 35.3% of adults and 30.1% of children survive relapse-free at 3 years. Cox multiple regression analysis demonstrated that higher diagnostic white count, but not pre-transplant extramedullary leukaemia, remission number, or age, was important as an independent adverse clinical prognostic factor for patients with ALL. Overall outcome was better for 76 patients with acute myeloid leukaemia (AML) with 51.6% of adults and 52.9% of children surviving relapse-free at 3 years post-transplant. Cox multivariate regression analysis identified first remission status and lower white cell count, but not patient age, as independent predictors of improved relapse-free survival for AML patients. Adults had greater transplant morbidity, predominantly related to a higher incidence of acute graft-versus-host disease (GVHD), resulting in longer hospital stay. Survival at 100 d, long-term survival and clinical performance status were similar in both age groups. These data suggest that results of allogeneic BMT for adults with acute leukaemia compare favourably with those found in children and are superior to most reports of conventional chemotherapy. Allogeneic BMT remains a reasonable option for remission acute leukaemia patients up to the age of 45.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)351-358
Number of pages8
JournalBritish journal of haematology
Issue number3
StatePublished - 1988


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