Health status and quality of life in long-term survivors of childhood leukaemia: the impact of haematopoietic stem cell transplantation

Bone Marrow Transplant. 2007 Nov;40(9):897-904. doi: 10.1038/sj.bmt.1705821. Epub 2007 Aug 20.


We compared late side effects and quality of life (QoL) in 430 survivors of childhood acute leukaemia based on whether they had undergone haematopoietic cell transplantation (n=142) or not (n=288). Mean age was 18.2 years and mean follow-up duration was 11.9 years. Multivariate logistic regression analyses were performed to compare the risk of each type of late effect in the two groups. Based on age, VSP-A or SF36 questionnaires were used to assess QoL. For each QoL dimension, multiple linear regression was done to construct models of association with the treatment group. Transplanted patients experienced more side effects, including height growth failure, gonadal dysfunction, hypothyroidism and cataract. Children and adolescents in the two treatment groups reported similar QoL levels for almost all dimensions except a better perception of school work by young transplanted children and more difficulties in relating to the medical staff for transplanted adolescents. In adults, two differences in physical domain of QoL were detected but the calculated effect sizes were less than 0.2 in each case, suggesting an uncertain clinical significance. In spite of a higher risk of physical adverse events in the transplanted group, very few clinically significant differences in QoL are detectable.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Cataract / etiology
  • Child
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Gonadal Disorders / etiology
  • Growth Disorders / etiology
  • Health Status*
  • Hematopoietic Stem Cell Transplantation / adverse effects*
  • Humans
  • Hypothyroidism / etiology
  • Leukemia / complications*
  • Leukemia / therapy*
  • Linear Models
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Survivors*