Association between the choice of the conditioning regimen and outcomes of allogeneic hematopoietic cell transplantation for myelofibrosis

Haematologica. 2023 Jul 1;108(7):1900-1908. doi: 10.3324/haematol.2022.281958.


Allogeneic hematopoietic cell transplantation (allo-HCT) remains the only curative treatment for myelofibrosis. However, the optimal conditioning regimen either with reduced-intensity conditioning (RIC) or myeloablative conditioning (MAC) is not well known. Using the Center for International Blood and Marrow Transplant Research database, we identified adults aged ≥18 years with myelofibrosis undergoing allo-HCT between 2008-2019 and analyzed the outcomes separately in the RIC and MAC cohorts based on the conditioning regimens used. Among 872 eligible patients, 493 underwent allo-HCT using RIC (fludarabine/ busulfan n=166, fludarabine/melphalan n=327) and 379 using MAC (fludarabine/busulfan n=247, busulfan/cyclophosphamide n=132). In multivariable analysis with RIC, fludarabine/melphalan was associated with inferior overall survival (hazard ratio [HR]=1.80; 95% confidenec interval [CI]: 1.15-2.81; P=0.009), higher early non-relapse mortality (HR=1.81; 95% CI: 1.12-2.91; P=0.01) and higher acute graft-versus-host disease (GvHD) (grade 2-4 HR=1.45; 95% CI: 1.03-2.03; P=0.03; grade 3-4 HR=2.21; 95%CI: 1.28-3.83; P=0.004) compared to fludarabine/busulfan. In the MAC setting, busulfan/cyclophosphamide was associated with a higher acute GvHD (grade 2-4 HR=2.33; 95% CI: 1.67-3.25; P<0.001; grade 3-4 HR=2.31; 95% CI: 1.52-3.52; P<0.001) and inferior GvHD-free relapse-free survival (GRFS) (HR=1.94; 95% CI: 1.49-2.53; P<0.001) as compared to fludarabine/busulfan. Hence, our study suggests that fludarabine/busulfan is associated with better outcomes in RIC (better overall survival, lower early non-relapse mortality, lower acute GvHD) and MAC (lower acute GvHD and better GRFS) in myelofibrosis.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Busulfan / therapeutic use
  • Cyclophosphamide / therapeutic use
  • Graft vs Host Disease* / etiology
  • Hematopoietic Stem Cell Transplantation* / adverse effects
  • Humans
  • Melphalan
  • Primary Myelofibrosis* / diagnosis
  • Primary Myelofibrosis* / therapy
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Transplantation Conditioning
  • Vidarabine / therapeutic use


  • Busulfan
  • Melphalan
  • Cyclophosphamide
  • Vidarabine