Recommendations and outcomes from a geriatric assessment guided multidisciplinary clinic prior to autologous stem cell transplant in older patients

J Geriatr Oncol. 2021 May;12(4):585-591. doi: 10.1016/j.jgo.2020.10.019. Epub 2020 Nov 5.


Background: Autologous hematopoietic stem cell transplant (autoHCT) is a mainstay of treatment for multiple myeloma and non-Hodgkin lymphoma but is underutilized in older adults. We investigated the association of vulnerabilities identified by a geriatric assessment (GA)-guided multidisciplinary clinic (MDC) on the receipt of autoHCT and evaluated its ability to predict outcomes in older autoHCT candidates.

Methods: Patients 50+ years received GA-informed optimization recommendations: 'decline' if unlikely to realize benefits of autoHCT, 'defer' if optimization necessary before autoHCT, and 'proceed' if autoHCT could proceed without delay. We compared characteristics and outcomes of autoHCT recipients (n = 62) to non-autoHCT patients (n = 29) and evaluated GA deficits on outcomes.

Results: 91 patients were evaluated; the MDC recommendation was 'decline' for 5 (6%), 'defer' for 25 (27%), and 'proceed' for 61 (67%). AutoHCT recipients had fewer GA-rated impairments relative to non-autoHCT patients, as did patients with a 'proceed' recommendation relative to 'defer'. Among autoHCT recipients, 1-year and 3-year non-relapse morality (NRM) was 0% and 5%, and there was no difference in length of hospitalization, readmission rate, or mortality after transplant by MDC recommendation. Frail grip strength and poor performance status were associated with inferior post-autoHCT progression-free survival and overall survival.

Conclusions: Patients pursuing autoHCT after MDC-directed optimization achieved excellent outcomes, including patients deferred but ultimately receiving autoHCT. GA-identified functional deficits, especially frail grip strength, may improve risk stratification in older autoHCT candidates. Employing a GA earlier in the disease trajectory to inform early referral to an MDC may increase autoHCT safety and utilization in older patients.

Keywords: Autologous; Geriatric assessment; Hematopoietic cell transplant; Older adults.

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Geriatric Assessment
  • Hematopoietic Stem Cell Transplantation*
  • Humans
  • Multiple Myeloma* / therapy
  • Stem Cell Transplantation
  • Transplantation, Autologous