Delphi-panel analysis of appropriateness of high-dose therapy and bone marrow transplants in chronic myelogenous leukemia in chronic phase

Robert Peter Gale, Rolla Edward Park, Robert W. Dubois, Geoffrey P. Herzig, William G. Hocking, Mary M. Horowitz, Armand Keating, Sanford Kempin, Charles A. Linker, Charles A. Schiffer, Peter H. Wiernik, Daniel J. Weisdorf, Kanti R. Rai

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


Background: It is uncertain which people with chronic myelogenous leukemia (CML) in chronic phase should receive conventional treatment (interferon and/or chemotherapy) versus high-dose therapy and a bone marrow transplant. There are no randomized trials comparing these approaches and analyses of data from non-randomized studies are complex, contradictory without sufficient detail to allow subject-level treatment decisions. Objective: Determine appropriateness of high-dose therapy and bone marrow transplants in persons with CML in chronic phase with specific features. Develop a treatment algorithm. Panelists: nine leukemia experts from diverse geographic sites and practice settings. Evidence: Boolean MEDLINE searches of chronic myelogenous leukemia and chemotherapy and/or transplants. Consensus process: We used a modified Delphi-panel group judgment process. Age, prognostic score, disease duration, and type of conventional therapy and response were permuted to define 90 clinical settings. Each panelist rated appropriateness of high-dose therapy and a transplant versus conventional therapy on a 9-point ordinal scale (1, most inappropriate, 9, most appropriate) considering three types of donors: (1) HLA-identical siblings; (2) alternative donors (HLA-matched related or unrelated people other than an HLA-identical sibling); and (3) autotransplants. An appropriateness index was developed based on median rating and amount of disagreement. Relationship of appropriateness indices to permuted clinical variables was considered by analysis of variance and recursive partitioning. Preference between donor types was analyzed by comparing mean appropriateness indices of similar settings and a treatment algorithm developed. Conclusions: In people with CML in chronic phase and an HLA-identical sibling donor and in those with an alternative donor (but no HLA-identical sibling), a transplant was rated appropriate in those with a≤partial cytogenetic response to interferon and uncertain or inappropriate in all other settings. Autotransplants were rated uncertain or inappropriate in all settings. Most of the variance in appropriateness ratings between different clinical settings was accounted for by response to interferon: complete versus≤partial response. An HLA-identical sibling donor, when available, was always preferred to an alternative donor or autotransplant. In people without an HLA-identical sibling, an alternative donor was favored over an autotransplant at higher appropriateness indices and the converse at lower appropriateness indices. Copyright (C) 1999 Elsevier Science Ltd.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)817-826
Number of pages10
JournalLeukemia research
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 1999

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Supported, in part, by a grant from Salick Health Care, Los Angeles, California 90048-4520. R.P. Gale provided the concept and design, collected the data, analyzed the data, drafted and reviewed the paper and gave final approval as well as obtaining funding and providing administrative support. R.E. Park contributed to the analysis of the data, drafting of the article, critical review of the paper, provided statistical expertise, logistical support and gave final approval. R.W. Dubois provided data interpratation, critical review, gave final approval and provided logistical support. All other co-authors provided critical revision, gave final approval and provided study materials.


  • Bone marrow transplants
  • Chronic myelogenous leukemia
  • HLA-identical sibling
  • Interferon


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