Research Papers:

Sequential intensified conditioning followed by prophylactic DLI could reduce relapse of refractory acute leukemia after allo-HSCT

Li Xuan, Zhiping Fan, Yu Zhang, Hongsheng Zhou, Fen Huang, Min Dai, Danian Nie, Dongjun Lin, Na Xu, Xutao Guo, Qianli Jiang, Jing Sun, Yang Xiao and Qifa Liu _

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Oncotarget. 2016; 7:32579-32591. https://doi.org/10.18632/oncotarget.8691

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Li Xuan1, Zhiping Fan1, Yu Zhang1, Hongsheng Zhou1, Fen Huang1, Min Dai1, Danian Nie2, Dongjun Lin3, Na Xu1, Xutao Guo1, Qianli Jiang1, Jing Sun1, Yang Xiao4, Qifa Liu1

1Department of Hematology, Nanfang Hospital, Southern Medical University, Guangzhou 510515, China

2Department of Hematology, Sun Yat-Sen Memorial Hospital, Sun Yat-Sen University, Guangzhou 510120, China

3Department of Hematology, the Third Affiliated Hospital, Sun Yat-Sen University, Guangzhou 510630, China

4Department of Hematology, Guangzhou General Hospital of Guangzhou Military Command, Guangzhou 510010, China

Correspondence to:

Qifa Liu, email: [email protected]

Keywords: donor lymphocyte infusion, refractory advanced acute leukemia, relapse, allogeneic hematopoietic stem cell transplantation, sequential intensified conditioning

Received: January 26, 2016     Accepted: March 28, 2016     Published: April 11, 2016


The major obstacle is leukemia relapse for refractory leukemia undergoing allogeneic hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (allo-HSCT). We previously introduced a strategy of sequential intensified conditioning and early rapid immunosupressant withdrawal for refractory leukemia undergoing allo-HSCT, with 5-year overall survival (OS) and 3-year relapse rate of 44.6% and 33.3%. To reduce leukemia relapse, prophylactic donor lymphocyte infusion (DLI) was administered based on our historical strategy. A total of 153 refractory advanced acute leukemia patients were enrolled in this prospective study. According to the availability of donor lymphocytes and the criteria for DLI, 144 patients surviving day +60 were divided into two groups (80 DLI versus 64 non-DLI). The relapse rate was less and OS was better in patients receiving DLI than in those not receiving DLI (22.7% vs 33.9%, P=0.048; 58.1% vs 54.9%, P=0.043). The non-relapse mortality (NRM) was similar between DLI and non-DLI groups (P=0.104). Overall, the 5-year overall and disease-free survival post-transplantation were 51.1%±5.7% and 49.2%±5.3%. The 5-year relapse rate and NRM were 27.3%±4.4% and 29.7%±5.3%. Multivariate analysis revealed that lower bone marrow blasts on day 0, DLI and chronic graft-versus-host disease were associated with less relapse and better OS. The strategy of sequential intensified conditioning followed by early immunosupressant withdrawal and DLI could reduce relapse of refractory acute leukemia after allo-HSCT and improve survival.

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