Allogeneic Hematopoietic Stem Cell Transplantation for Adult Philadelphia Chromosome-Negative B-Cell Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia in Second Complete Remission

Adult Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia Working Group of the Japan Society for Hematopoietic Cell Transplantation

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Even in the era of high-intensity chemotherapy, disease recurrence remains a major cause of treatment failure in adult patients with Philadelphia chromosome-negative B-cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia (Ph-negative B-ALL). For patients who achieved second complete remission (CR2) with salvage chemotherapy, allogeneic hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (allo-HSCT) could be the best curative treatment. However, limited data are available on the outcomes of allo-HSCT for adult Ph-negative B-ALL in CR2 in the high-intensity chemotherapy era. We evaluated the transplantation outcomes of adult patients with Ph-negative B-ALL in CR2 compared with those in CR1. We also clarified the prognostic factors among adult allo-HSCT recipients with Ph-negative B-ALL in CR2. We conducted a nationwide retrospective study using the data form Japanese transplant registry database. Patients aged ≥16 years and underwent their first allo-HSCT between 2003 and 2017 were included. The 3-year overall survival (OS) rate of the patients in CR2 (n = 382) was significantly lower than that in first complete remission (n = 1375) (51.8% versus 68.1%; P < .001), accompanied by a higher relapse rate (34.2% versus 17.6% at 3 years; P < .001). In a multivariate analysis among CR2 patients, time from diagnosis to allo-HSCT (≤2 years) was a significant factor for OS (hazard ratio [HR] 1.87; P < .001) and relapse (HR = 1.88; P < .001), whereas age at allo-HSCT (≥30 years) was a significant factor for OS (HR = 2.10, P < .001) and nonrelapse mortality (HR = 2.68; P < .001). By assigning a score of 1 to each factor, the 3-year OS rate of CR2 patients significantly stratified: 70.7% in patients with score 0, 56.4% with score 1, and 28.4% with score 2 (P < .001). The survival outcomes of allo-HSCT in adult Ph-negative B-ALL patients in CR2 were inferior to those in CR1 in the high-intensity chemotherapy era, mainly because of the higher relapse rate. Among the CR2 patients, the short time between diagnosis and allo-HSCT was a significant risk factor for disease recurrence and overall mortality. Better disease control with novel treatment strategies may be needed for early relapse. In addition, the nonrelapse mortality rate in patients over 30 years of age was particularly high among CR2 patients, suggesting the need for improved supportive care for these patients. Further studies are warranted on the outcomes of allo-HSCT after achieving CR2 with novel drugs, such as inotuzumab ozogamicin and blinatumomab.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)326.e1-326.e10
JournalTransplantation and Cellular Therapy
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 2022 Jun


  • Allogeneic hematopoietic stem cell transplantation
  • B-cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia
  • Philadelphia chromosome-negative
  • Second complete remission

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Molecular Medicine
  • Hematology
  • Cell Biology
  • Transplantation


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