Nonmyeloablative allogeneic stem cell transplantation for chronic lymphocytic leukaemia offers the possibility of disease control with minimal morbidity and mortality--a single institution experience

Ann Hematol. 2015 Oct;94(10):1717-25. doi: 10.1007/s00277-015-2449-1. Epub 2015 Aug 12.


Allogeneic stem cell transplantation is a treatment option for patients with poor risk CLL. We conducted a retrospective analysis of all CLL patients allografted at our institution, the University Hospital of Cologne, Germany. Data was collected on 40 patients from 2004 to 2012. The mean age was 54, and the majority were male (75 %). On average, the patients were diagnosed 6 years (range 2-12) prior to transplant with an average of 4 years (range 1-8) from time of first-line therapy to transplant. The remission states at the time of transplant were complete remission (CR) (n = 4), stable disease (n = 10), partial remission (n = 20) and progressive disease (n = 6). Only reduced intensity conditioning regimens were employed. The average CD34(+) cell dose was 4.16 × 10(6)/kg. Neutrophil engraftment was seen by day +17 (range 10-23) post-transplant, and 88 % achieved 95-100 % donor chimerism by day 100. Overall survival, progression-free survival and non-relapse mortality at 2 years post-transplant were 65, 52.5 and 27.5 %, respectively. A total of 51 % of patients were found to be minimal residual disease (MRD)-negative at 1 year post-transplant. Our single-centre experience confirms the valuable role of allogeneic stem cell transplantation (allo-SCT) in the treatment of poor risk CLL patients with promising long-term survival and acceptable transplant-related mortality. The advent of newer therapeutic agents should not hinder the consideration of allo-SCT for this patient cohort as it remains the only curative option for these patients.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Female
  • Hematopoietic Stem Cell Transplantation / mortality*
  • Hematopoietic Stem Cell Transplantation / trends
  • Humans
  • Leukemia, Lymphocytic, Chronic, B-Cell / diagnosis
  • Leukemia, Lymphocytic, Chronic, B-Cell / mortality*
  • Leukemia, Lymphocytic, Chronic, B-Cell / therapy*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Morbidity
  • Mortality / trends
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Transplantation, Homologous / mortality
  • Transplantation, Homologous / trends
  • Treatment Outcome