The need for allogeneic hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (allo-HSCT) in adults with Philadelphia chromosome-negative (Ph-) acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) with high-risk (HR) features and adequate measurable residual disease (MRD) clearance remains unclear. The aim of the ALL-HR-11 trial was to evaluate the outcomes of HR Ph- adult ALL patients following chemotherapy or allo-HSCT administered based on end-induction and consolidation MRD levels. Patients aged 15 to 60 years with HR-ALL in complete response (CR) and MRD levels (centrally assessed by 8-color flow cytometry) <0.1% after induction and <0.01% after early consolidation were assigned to receive delayed consolidation and maintenance therapy up to 2 years in CR. The remaining patients were allocated to allo-HSCT. CR was attained in 315/348 patients (91%), with MRD <0.1% after induction in 220/289 patients (76%). By intention-to-treat, 218 patients were assigned to chemotherapy and 106 to allo-HSCT. The 5-year (±95% confidence interval) cumulative incidence of relapse (CIR), overall survival (OS), and event-free survival probabilities for the whole series were 43% ± 7%, 49% ± 7%, and 40% ± 6%, respectively, with CIR and OS rates of 45% ± 8% and 59% ± 9% for patients assigned to chemotherapy and of 40% ± 12% and 38% ± 11% for those assigned to allo-HSCT, respectively. Our results show that avoiding allo-HSCT does not hamper the outcomes of HR Ph- adult ALL patients up to 60 years with adequate MRD response after induction and consolidation. Better postremission alternative therapies are especially needed for patients with poor MRD clearance. This trial was registered at www.clinicaltrials.gov as # NCT01540812.
© 2021 by The American Society of Hematology.