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      Hematopoietic stem cell transplantation for adults with Philadelphia chromosome-negative acute lymphoblastic leukemia in first remission: a position statement of the European Working Group for Adult Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia (EWALL) and the Acute Leukemia Working Party of the European Society for Blood and Marrow Transplantation (EBMT)

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          Allogeneic hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (HSCT) in first complete remission is a standard of care for adult patients with Philadelphia chromosome (Ph)-negative acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) and high risk of relapse. However, the stratification systems vary among study groups. Inadequate response at the level of minimal residual disease is the most commonly accepted factor indicating the need for alloHSCT. In this consensus paper on behalf of the European Working Group for Adult Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia and the Acute Leukemia Working Party of the European Society for Blood and Marrow Transplantation, we summarize available evidence and reflect current clinical practice in major European study groups regarding both indications for HSCT and particular aspects of the procedure including the choice of donor, source of stem cells and conditioning. Finally, we propose recommendations for daily clinical practice as well as for planning of prospective trials.

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          Most cited references 47

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          Targeted therapy with the T-cell-engaging antibody blinatumomab of chemotherapy-refractory minimal residual disease in B-lineage acute lymphoblastic leukemia patients results in high response rate and prolonged leukemia-free survival.

          Blinatumomab, a bispecific single-chain antibody targeting the CD19 antigen, is a member of a novel class of antibodies that redirect T cells for selective lysis of tumor cells. In acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL), persistence or relapse of minimal residual disease (MRD) after chemotherapy indicates resistance to chemotherapy and results in hematologic relapse. A phase II clinical study was conducted to determine the efficacy of blinatumomab in MRD-positive B-lineage ALL. Patients with MRD persistence or relapse after induction and consolidation therapy were included. MRD was assessed by quantitative reverse transcriptase polymerase chain reaction for either rearrangements of immunoglobulin or T-cell receptor genes, or specific genetic aberrations. Blinatumomab was administered as a 4-week continuous intravenous infusion at a dose of 15 μg/m2/24 hours. Twenty-one patients were treated, of whom 16 patients became MRD negative. One patient was not evaluable due to a grade 3 adverse event leading to treatment discontinuation. Among the 16 responders, 12 patients had been molecularly refractory to previous chemotherapy. Probability for relapse-free survival is 78% at a median follow-up of 405 days. The most frequent grade 3 and 4 adverse event was lymphopenia, which was completely reversible like most other adverse events. Blinatumomab is an efficacious and well-tolerated treatment in patients with MRD-positive B-lineage ALL after intensive chemotherapy. T cells engaged by blinatumomab seem capable of eradicating chemotherapy-resistant tumor cells that otherwise cause clinical relapse.
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            Standard graft-versus-host disease prophylaxis with or without anti-T-cell globulin in haematopoietic cell transplantation from matched unrelated donors: a randomised, open-label, multicentre phase 3 trial.

            Graft-versus-host disease (GVHD) is a major cause of morbidity and mortality after allogeneic haematopoietic cell transplantation from unrelated donors. Anti-T-cell globulins (ATGs) might lower the incidence of GVHD. We did a prospective, randomised, multicentre, open-label, phase 3 trial to compare standard GVHD prophylaxis with ciclosporin and methotrexate with or without anti-Jurkat ATG-Fresenius (ATG-F). Between May 26, 2003, and Feb 8, 2007, 202 patients with haematological malignancies were centrally randomly assigned using computer-generated centre-stratified block randomisation between treatment groups receiving ciclosporin and methotrexate with or without additional ATG-F. One patient in the ATG-F group did not undergo transplantation, thus 201 patients who underwent transplantation with peripheral blood (n=164; 82%) or bone marrow (n=37; 18%) grafts from unrelated donors after myeloablative conditioning were included in the full analysis set, and were analysed according to their randomly assigned treatment (ATG-F n=103, control n=98). The primary endpoint was severe acute GVHD (aGVHD) grade III-IV or death within 100 days of transplantation. The trial is registered with the numbers DRKS00000002 and NCT00655343. The number of patients in the ATG-F group who had severe aGVHD grade III-IV or who died within 100 days of transplantation was 12 and 10 (21.4%, 95% CI 13.4-29.3), respectively, compared with 24 and nine (33.7%, 24.3-43.0) patients, respectively, in the control group (adjusted odds ratio 0.59, 95% CI 0.30-1.17; p=0.13). The cumulative incidence of aGVHD grade III-IV was 11.7% (95% CI 6.8-19.8) in the ATG-F group versus 24.5% (17.3-34.7) in the control group (adjusted hazard ratio [HR] 0.50, 95% CI 0.25-1.01; p=0.054), and cumulative incidence of aGVHD grade II-IV was 33.0% (n=34; 95% CI 25.1-43.5) in the ATG-F group versus 51.0% (n=50; 95% CI 42.0-61.9) in the control group (adjusted HR 0.56, 0.36-0.87; p=0.011). The 2-year cumulative incidence of extensive chronic GVHD was 12.2% (n=11; 95% CI 7.0-21.3) versus 42.6% (n=34; 95% CI 33.0-55.0; adjusted HR 0.22, 0.11-0.43; p<0.0001). There were no differences between treatment groups with regard to relapse, non-relapse mortality, overall survival, and mortality from infectious causes. The addition of ATG-F to GVHD prophylaxis with ciclosporin and methotrexate resulted in decreased incidence of acute and chronic GVHD without an increase in relapse or non-relapse mortality, and without compromising overall survival. The use of ATG-F is safe for patients who are going to receive a haematopoietic cell transplantation from matched unrelated donors. Fresenius Biotech GmbH.
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              Use of haploidentical stem cell transplantation continues to increase: the 2015 European Society for Blood and Marrow Transplant activity survey report

              Hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (HSCT) is an established procedure for many acquired and congenital disorders of the hematopoietic system. A record number of 42 171 HSCT in 37 626 patients (16 030 allogeneic (43%), 21 596 autologous (57%)) were reported by 655 centers in 48 countries in 2015. Trends include continued growth in transplant activity over the last decade, with the highest percentage increase seen in middle-income countries but the highest absolute growth in the very-high-income countries in Europe. Main indications for HSCT were myeloid malignancies 9413 (25% 96% allogeneic), lymphoid malignancies 24 304 (67% 20% allogeneic), solid tumors 1516 (4% 3% allogeneic) and non-malignant disorders 2208 (6% 90% allogeneic). Remarkable is the decreasing use of allogeneic HSCT for CLL from 504 patients in 2011 to 255 in 2015, most likely to be due to new drugs. Use of haploidentical donors for allogeneic HSCT continues to grow: 2012 in 2015, a 291% increase since 2005. Growth is seen for all diseases. In AML, haploidentical HSCT increases similarly for patients with advanced disease and for those in CR1. Both marrow and peripheral blood are used as the stem cell source for haploidentical HSCT with higher numbers reported for the latter.

                Author and article information

                Bone Marrow Transplantation
                Bone Marrow Transplant
                Springer Nature America, Inc
                November 1 2018
                © 2018



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