Augmenting Total Body Irradiation with a Cranial Boost before Stem Cell Transplantation Protects Against Post-Transplant Central Nervous System Relapse in Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia

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Abstract

The purpose of this study was to determine the effect of a pretransplant cranial boost (CB) on post-transplant central nervous system (CNS) relapse and survival in acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) patients undergoing allogeneic hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (HSCT) using a total body irradiation (TBI)-containing preparation regimen. Two hundred thirteen ALL patients were treated consecutively at our institution with allogeneic HSCT. Conditioning included TBI (1320 cGy in 8 fractions given twice daily) and cyclophosphamide (120 mg/kg) with or without fludarabine (75 mg/m 2 ). Patients were divided into 4 groups based on history of CNS disease and whether a CB was given. Of the 160 patients with no history of CNS disease, none received a CB (CNS−/CB−). Of the 53 patients with prior CNS disease, 41 had not received prior cranial irradiation. Thirty of these 41 received a CB of 900 to 1000 cGy in 5 daily fractions (CNS+/CB+), whereas the other 11 did not receive a CB because of physician preference (CNS+/CB−). The remaining 12 patients with prior CNS involvement had previously received cranial irradiation and thus were not candidates for a CB (CNS + PriorRT). Two-year CNS relapse risk, overall survival (OS), and disease-free survival (DFS) were calculated using Kaplan-Meier analysis. Seven patients experienced post-transplant CNS relapse: 4 in the CNS−/CB− group, 2 in the CNS+/CB− group, and 1 in the CNS + PriorRT group. None of the 30 patients who received a CB relapsed in the CNS. Two-year CNS relapse risk was 0% in the CNS+/CB+ group compared with 21% (95% CI, 0% to 45%) in the CNS+/CB− group (P =.03). Two-year OS and DFS did not differ between the groups. In conclusion, among ALL patients with prior CNS leukemia, there was a trend toward a reduced risk of post-transplant CNS relapse in patients who received a CB. However, the addition of a CB did not appear to have an impact on OS or DFS.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)501-506
Number of pages6
JournalBiology of Blood and Marrow Transplantation
Volume24
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Mar 2018

Keywords

  • Acute lymphocytic leukemia
  • Allogeneic hematopoietic stem cell transplantation
  • Central nervous system relapse
  • Cranial boost
  • Total body irradiation

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