The impact of a second all-SCT on the long-term outcomes of children who relapse after allo-SCT has been unclear. We retrospectively analyzed the long-term outcomes of different salvage treatments for such children. Sixty-six children with hematological malignancies (40 ALL, 22 AML, three MDS, and one CML) who relapsed after a first allo-SCT received either a second allo-SCT (n = 16) or CTx and/or DLI (n = 50). The median follow-up for all children was 9.1 yr. The five-yr OS after relapse was significantly better in patients who underwent a second allo-SCT (42.9%) than in patients treated with CTx and/or DLI (11.8%) (p < 0.05). However, this advantage diminished with increasing time. The eight-yr OS for these groups of patients were 21.4% and 11.8%, respectively (p = n.s.). Among the 16 patients who received a second allo-SCT, two died more than five yr after the second allo-SCT. A second allo-SCT can therefore lead to a prolonged OS in patients who relapse after allo-SCT. However, a second allo-SCT should be selected carefully. This is because the mortality rate is still high, even when there is an extensive duration of time following the second allo-SCT.
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