The optimal conditioning regimen to employ before hematopoietic stem cell transplantation in acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) is still undecided, and while cyclophosphamide/total body irradiation (Cy/TBI) is the most commonly used myeloablative regimen, there are concerns regarding long-term toxicity for patients conditioned with this regimen. Thiotepa-based conditioning is an emerging radiation-free regimen with recent publications indicative of comparable clinical outcomes to TBI-based conditioning. In this analysis of the acute leukemia working party of the EBMT, we performed a retrospective matched-pair analysis, evaluating the outcome of adult patients with ALL who received thiotepa-based conditioning (n = 180) with those receiving Cy/TBI conditioning (n = 540). The 2-year leukemia-free survival and overall survival (OS) rates of both conditioning regimens were comparable, 33% for thiotepa [95% confidence interval (CI): 26.4-42.8] versus 39% for Cy/TBI (95% CI: 34.8-44.5] (P = .33) and 46.5% [95% CI: 38.6-56.1] versus 48.8% [95% CI: 44.2-54] (P = .9), respectively. There was no significant difference between the two regimens in the incidence of either acute graft versus host disease (GVHD) or chronic GVHD. Multivariate analysis demonstrated increased relapse incidence for thiotepa conditioning compared to Cy/TBI (HR = 1.78, 95% CI, 1.07-2.95; P = .03) which did not affect OS. Our results indicate that thiotepa-based conditioning may not be inferior to Cy/TBI for adult patients with ALL.
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