Allogeneic Hematopoietic Cell Transplantation in First Remission Abrogates Poor Outcomes Associated with High-Risk Pediatric Acute Myeloid Leukemia

Michael J. Burke, John E. Wagner, Qing Cao, Celalettin Ustun, Michael R. Verneris

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

21 Scopus citations


Despite remission rates of approximately 85% for children diagnosed with acute myeloid leukemia (AML), greater than 40% will die from relapsed disease. Patients with poor-risk molecular/cytogenetics and/or inadequate response to up-front therapy are typically considered high-risk (HR) and historically have poor outcomes with chemotherapy alone. We investigated whether allogeneic hematopoietic cell transplantation (allo-HCT) with best available donor in first remission (CR1) would abrogate the poor outcomes associated with HR AML in children and young adults treated with chemotherapy. We reviewed the outcomes of 50 consecutive children and young adults (ages 0 to 30 years) with AML who received a myeloablative allo-HCT between 2001 and 2010. Thirty-six patients (72%) were HR, defined as having FLT3-ITD mutations, 11q23 MLL rearrangements, chromosome 5 or 7 abnormalities, induction failure, and/or having persistent disease. The majority of patients received cyclophosphamide and total body irradiation conditioning, and graft-versus-host-disease (GVHD) prophylaxis was cyclosporine based. Transplantation outcomes for HR patients were compared to standard-risk patients, with no significant differences observed in overall survival (72% versus 78%, P= .72), leukemia-free survival (69% versus 79%, P= .62), relapse (11% versus 7%, P= .71), or treatment-related mortality (17% versus 14%, P= .89). Children and young adults with HR-AML have comparable outcomes to standard-risk patients following allo-HCT in CR1.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1021-1025
Number of pages5
JournalBiology of Blood and Marrow Transplantation
Issue number7
StatePublished - Jul 2013

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Financial disclosure: The NCI CA96028 (M.J.B.), Children's Cancer Research Fund (M.J.B., J.E.W, M.R.V.), and the University of Minnesota Pediatric Leukemia Program supported this work. This publication was made possible by CTSA Grant Number UL1 TR000135 from the National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences (NCATS), a component of the National Institutes of Health (NIH). Its contents are solely the responsibility of the authors and do not necessarily represent the official view of NIH.


  • Acute myeloid leukemia (AML)
  • High-risk
  • Transplantation pediatric


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