Allogeneic Transplantation in Fit Older Adults Is Feasible and Encouragingly Efficacious. Post Remission Data from the Prospective ECOG-ACRIN (E2906) Clinical Study

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Publication Date


Publication Title

ASH Annual Meeting & Exposition; December 11-14, 2021


oregon; chiles; portland



Allogeneic stem cell transplantation (alloSCT) is the most effective post remission anti-leukemia strategy. However, the associated toxicity is a barrier for its routine adoption as standard of care in older adults. Studies of AML patients who underwent alloSCT are mainly retrospective as randomized controlled trials comparing transplantation to non-transplantation are very difficult to conduct. We herein present prospective data from a randomized controlled phase III study, E2906, designed to compare two intensive chemotherapy arms. Patients who achieved remission and had a donor were to proceed to alloSCT after induction or first consolidation, at investigator discretion. Non-transplanted patients received 2 cycles of consolidation and then underwent a second randomization between observation and decitabine maintenance. Herein are reported all patients who received alloSCT either on protocol during first remission (CR1) or at other post induction time-points.

Patients and Methods:

Enrolled to E2906 study were 727 AML patients age 60 years and over. AlloSCT was performed in 166 patients, of whom 71 received alloSCT as part of the study and 95 received alloSCT off protocol. 105 patients (66/71 on protocol, 39/95 off protocol) received alloSCT at CR1/CRi1/LFS1 (CR: 92, CRi: 9 LFS: 4). Patients were followed for a median of 33.6 months from diagnosis and 29.1 months from transplant. No patients received decitabine maintenance prior to alloSCT.

Overall survival (OS) is defined as the time from allo transplant to death from any cause, with follow-up censored at the date of last contact. Disease free survival (DFS) is defined as the time from alloSCT transplant to relapse or death of any cause. The censored follow-up time for patients without relapse or death information is the date of last contact. Kaplan-Meier estimates were used to estimate OS and DFS. DFS and OS were compared between subgroups using log rank tests. A cumulative incidence analysis, with death without prior relapse as competing events, was performed to evaluate the subgroup effect on time to relapse after transplant.


Patient characteristics of those who received alloSCT at CR1/CRi1/LFS1 are similar to the general distribution of AML patients eligible for intensive chemotherapy. Median age was 66 years, 52% were male and 88% with ECOG PS of 0-1. Cytogenetic data were available for 85 patients of whom 26% presented with unfavorable cytogenetics. Minimal residual disease (MRD) status prior to alloSCT was available for 44 patients of whom 19 (43%) achieved a MRD negative state.

Long-term OS and DFS rates for all 105 patients who underwent alloSCT at CR1/CRi1/LFS1 are encouraging (Figure 1). OS and DFS at two years were 56.4% and 53.6% and 49.4%, 45.6% and 42.9%, 39% at 3 and 4 years, respectively. Age above or below 65 years, gender, induction regimen (3+7 or clofarabine) and MRD status prior to transplantation had no impact on outcome. Survival curves by intermediate or adverse cytogenetic risk are not significantly different. The numbers of patients with CRi1 or LFS1 are too small to compare with patients in CR1. Nevertheless, 36/38 patients that were alive and remain in first remission at the time of data cutoff, are patients who achieved CR1 and only 2/38 are patients transplanted at CRi1 or LFS1. Notably, the non-relapse mortality (NRM) was not significantly different for patients less or over 65 years. NRM at 6 months and 2 years for patients over and under 65 years of age were 4.4%, 8.4% and 15.6%, 24.0% respectively. Relapse during the first year post alloSCT is the main barrier for longer survival, particularly in patients with adverse cytogenetics and MRD positivity prior to transplantation (Figure 2).


Fit older patients, including those over age 65, who undergo an alloSCT in CR1, can expect a 4-year survival of 43% with an acceptable NRM rate. The NRM was, surprisingly, not higher than for a typically younger cohort of AML. Relapse within one year after transplant is the major limitation to prolonged survival and this finding reflects the biology of the leukemia in these patients. In this patient population, novel post remission strategies should either be complimentary to alloSCT or competitive with updated outcome of alloSCT.

Clinical Institute



Earle A. Chiles Research Institute




YishaiOfran1ZhuoxinSun23Jacob M.Rowe4David F.Claxton5Martin S.Tallman6Daniel A.Arber7AriMelnick8Ross L.Levine9ElisabethPaietta10John E.Godwin11Hillard MLazarus12Selina M.Luger13James M.Foran14Mark R.Litzow15