A retrospective analysis of treatment outcomes in adult T cell leukemia/lymphoma patients with aggressive disease treated with or without allogeneic stem cell transplantation: A single-center experience

Biol Blood Marrow Transplant. 2015 Apr;21(4):696-700. doi: 10.1016/j.bbmt.2014.12.020. Epub 2014 Dec 24.


Adult T cell leukemia/lymphoma (ATL) is an aggressive peripheral T cell neoplasm with very poor prognosis. Allogeneic hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (allo-HSCT) has been reported as a curative treatment modality for ATL. However, there are no reports comparing chemotherapy alone with allo-HSCT in ATL. In this report, we retrospectively analyzed data for patients treated with (n = 29, median age 55 years) or without allo-HSCT (n = 37, median age 58 years) for ATL in Kagoshima University Hospital, located in one of the most endemic areas of human T cell lymphotropic leukemia virus type 1 infection. Forty patients (61%) started coordination for allo-HSCT. Ten patients (34.4%) received allo-HSCT while in complete remission (CR), whereas the others were not in CR. Twenty-five patients (86.2%) received reduced-intensity conditioning, and the others received myeloablative conditioning. With a median follow-up period for survivors of 41 months (range, 5 to 125 months), the 3-year overall survival (OS) rate from first chemotherapy for all patients (with or without allo-HSCT) was 35.2%. The 3-year OS from first chemotherapy for patients who received allo-HSCT or only chemotherapy was 44.9% and 27.7%, respectively. Univariate analyses revealed that high serum soluble IL-2 receptor (sIL-2R) levels (≥ 2000 U/mL) just before the conditioning regimen and progressive disease (PD) status at HSCT (according to Japan Clinical Oncology Group Study 0907 criteria) were significant risk factors for OS in the allo-HSCT group. Multivariate analyses revealed that PD status was a significant risk factor for OS in the allo-HSCT group. In the chemotherapy-only group, the 3-year OS rate was 61.5% (95% CI, 30.8% to 81.8%) in patients with serum sIL-2R levels < 2000 U/mL for > 3 months. In contrast, the 3-year OS rate was 5.7% (95% CI, .4% to 22.4%) in patients who did not achieve serum sIL-2R levels < 2000 U/mL for >3 months. Our single-center cohort experience indicates that chemosensitivity is the most important prognostic factor for OS in ATL patients and the use of allo-HSCT is limited in chemorefractory patients with aggressive ATL disease. In the chemosensitive patients, allo-HSCT demonstrated a tendency toward better OS. Further clinical studies are warranted to determine optimal treatments for patients who are less sensitive to conventional chemotherapy.

Keywords: Adult T cell leukemia/lymphoma; Allogeneic stem cell transplantation.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Allografts
  • Antineoplastic Agents / administration & dosage*
  • Disease-Free Survival
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Hematopoietic Stem Cell Transplantation*
  • Human T-lymphotropic virus 1*
  • Humans
  • Leukemia-Lymphoma, Adult T-Cell / mortality*
  • Leukemia-Lymphoma, Adult T-Cell / therapy*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Remission Induction
  • Survival Rate


  • Antineoplastic Agents