Although allogeneic hematopoietic cell transplantation (HCT) is the only curative therapy for patients with chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL), a new study shows that HCT results in a higher mortality rate in transplant recipients compared to an age-, sex- and calendar year-matched general population.
According to results of a long-term study of 2,589 patients with CLL who underwent allogeneic HCT between 2000 and 2010, event-free survival, overall survival and non-relapse mortality 10 years after allogeneic HCT were 28%, 35% and 40%, respectively.
Patients who passed the 5-year landmark event-free survival (n=394) had a 79% probability of surviving the subsequent 5 years without an event. Relapse and non-relapse mortality contributed equally to treatment failure. Five-year mortality for 45- and 65-year-old reference patients who were event-free at the 5-year landmark was 8% and 47%, compared to 3% and 14% in the matched general population, respectively.
The researchers concluded that “it is likely that the implementation of structured follow-up programs and better patient education will be instrumental to further reduce morbidity and mortality after allogeneic HCT.”