What is the efficacy of allogeneic transplantation for acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) following relapse after chemotherapy?

Updated: Jul 02, 2021
  • Author: Karen Seiter, MD; Chief Editor: Emmanuel C Besa, MD  more...
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Allogeneic transplantation can also be effective therapy for patients who have experienced relapse after chemotherapy. Martino et al treated 37 consecutive patients with primary refractory or relapsed ALL with intensive salvage chemotherapy. [71] Of the 19 patients assigned to autologous BMT, 10 did not reach transplantation, mostly because of early relapse; 9 received transplants. Of these, 1 died early and 8 experienced relapse 2-30 months after transplantation. Of the 10 patients who received allogeneic BMT, 4 died early and 6 were alive and free from disease 9.7-92.6 months after the transplantation. [71]

These results are similar to those in patients in earlier stages, indicating that transplant-related complications are increased in the allogeneic setting. However, a significant number of patients can be cured. Yet, although autologous transplantation is relatively safe, it is associated with a high relapse rate, making this modality of little use in patients with ALL.

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