Transplantation Referral Patterns for Patients with Newly Diagnosed Higher-Risk Myelodysplastic Syndromes and Acute Myeloid Leukemia at Academic and Community Sites in the Connect® Myeloid Disease Registry: Potential Barriers to Care

Transplant Cell Ther. 2023 Jul;29(7):460.e1-460.e9. doi: 10.1016/j.jtct.2023.04.011. Epub 2023 Apr 21.


Hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (HCT) is indicated for patients with higher-risk (HR) myelodysplastic syndromes (MDS) and acute myeloid leukemia (AML). Age, performance status, patient frailty, comorbidities, and nonclinical factors (eg, cost, distance to site) are all recognized as important clinical factors that can influence HCT referral patterns and patient outcomes; however, the proportion of eligible patients referred for HCT in routine clinical practice is largely unknown. This study aimed to assess patterns of consideration for HCT among patients with HR-MDS and AML enrolled in the Connect® Myeloid Disease Registry at community/government (CO/GOV)- or academic (AC)-based sites, as well as to identify factors associated with rates of transplantation referral. We assessed patterns of consideration for and completion of HCT in patients with HR-MDS and AML enrolled between December 12, 2013, and March 6, 2020, in the Connect Myeloid Disease Registry at 164 CO/GOV and AC sites. Registry sites recorded whether patients were considered for transplantation at baseline and at each follow-up visit. The following answers were possible: "considered potentially eligible," "not considered potentially eligible," or "not assessed." Sites also recorded whether patients subsequently underwent HCT at each follow-up visit. Rates of consideration for HCT between CO/GOV and AC sites were compared using multivariable logistic regression analysis with covariates for age and comorbidity. Among the 778 patients with HR-MDS or AML enrolled in the Connect Myeloid Disease Registry, patients at CO/GOV sites were less likely to be considered potentially eligible for HCT than patients at AC sites (27.9% versus 43.9%; P < .0001). Multivariable logistic regression analysis with factors for age (<65 versus ≥65 years) and ACE-27 comorbidity grade (<2 versus ≥2) showed that patients at CO/GOV sites were significantly less likely than those at AC sites to be considered potentially eligible for HCT (odds ratio, 1.6, 95% confidence interval, 1.1 to 2.4; P = .0155). Among patients considered eligible for HCT, 45.1% (65 of 144) of those at CO/GOV sites and 35.7% (41 of 115) of those at AC sites underwent transplantation (P = .12). Approximately one-half of all patients at CO/GOV (50.1%) and AC (45.4%) sites were not considered potentially eligible for HCT; the most common reasons were age at CO/GOV sites (71.5%) and comorbidities at AC sites (52.1%). Across all sites, 17.4% of patients were reported as not assessed (and thus not considered) for HCT by their treating physician (20.7% at CO/GOV sites and 10.7% at AC sites; P = .0005). These findings suggest that many patients with HR-MDS and AML who may be candidates for HCT are not receiving assessment or consideration for transplantation in clinical practice. In addition, treatment at CO/GOV sites and age remain significant barriers to ensuring that all potentially eligible patients are assessed for HCT.

Keywords: Acute myeloid leukemia; Bone marrow transplantation; Clinical practice; Hematologic malignancies; Management and treatment; Myelodysplastic syndromes.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Health Services Accessibility
  • Hematopoietic Stem Cell Transplantation*
  • Humans
  • Leukemia, Myeloid, Acute* / therapy
  • Myelodysplastic Syndromes* / therapy
  • Registries