Disease relapse following an allogeneic transplant remains a major cause of treatment failure, often with a poor outcome. Second allogeneic transplant procedures have been associated with high TRM, especially with myeloablative conditioning. We hypothesized that the use of reduced-intensity conditioning (RIC) would decrease the TRM. We performed a retrospective national multicentre analysis of 71 patients receiving a second allogeneic transplant using RIC after disease relapse following an initial allogeneic transplant. The majority of patients had leukaemia/myelodysplasia (MDS) (N=57), nine had lymphoproliferative disorders, two had myeloma and three had myeloproliferative diseases. A total of 25% of patients had unrelated donors. The median follow-up was 906 days from the second allograft. The predicted overall survival (OS) and TRM at 2 years were 28 and 27%, respectively. TRM was significantly lower in those who relapsed late (> 11 months) following the first transplant (2 years: 17 vs 38% in early relapses;P= 0.03). Two factors were significantly associated with a better survival: late relapse (P= 0.014) and chronic GVHD following the second transplant (P= 0.014). These data support our hypothesis that the second RIC allograft results in a lower TRM than using MA. A proportion of patients achieved a sustained remission even when relapsing after a previous MA transplant.
Bone Marrow Transplantation (2008) 42, 783-789; doi:10.1038/bmt.2008.255; published online 25 August 2008