This study aimed to analyze the factors associated with outcomes of bone marrow transplantation (UR-BMT) or cord blood stem cell transplantation from unrelated donors (UR-CBT). We assessed the time from diagnosis to transplantation among acute myeloid leukemia (AML) patients with intermediate- or poor-risk cytogenetics to identify the potential clinical efficacy of transplantation. We retrospectively analyzed 5331 patients who received UR-BMT or UR-CBT between 2008 and 2017. Patients were divided into four groups according to time from diagnosis to transplantation: (1) UR-BMT and > 5 months (n = 2353), (2) UR-BMT and ≤ 5 months (n = 379), (3) UR-CBT and > 5 months (n = 1494), and (4) UR-CBT and ≤ 5 months (n = 1106). There was no difference in overall survival (OS) for transplantation at ≤5 months and > 5 months in patients with first complete remission for both UR-BMT and UR-CBT, but OS in patients with primary induction failure (PIF) and transplantation at ≤ 5 months was significantly higher in the UR-CBT group compared with that at >5 months (P < 0.001). Multivariate Cox regression analysis also showed that transplantation at >5 months in patients with PIF was an independent predictor of poorer OS. Therefore, UR-CBT at ≤ 5 months after diagnosis is an alternative option for AML patients with PIF.
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