Total body irradiation + fludarabine compared to busulfan + fludarabine as “reduced-toxicity conditioning” for patients with acute myeloid leukemia treated with allogeneic hematopoietic cell transplantation in first complete remission: a study by the Acute Leukemia Working Party of the EBMT

Sebastian Giebel*, Myriam Labopin, Malgorzata Sobczyk-Kruszelnicka, Matthias Stelljes, Jenny L. Byrne, Nathalie Fegueux, Dietrich W. Beelen, Montserrat Rovira, Alexandros Spyridonidis, Didier Blaise, Martin Bornhäuser, Ihsan Karadogan, Bipin N. Savani, Arnon Nagler, Mohamad Mohty, Principal investigators of the contributing institutions

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


The optimal conditioning for patients with acute myeloid leukemia in first complete remission treated with allogeneic hematopoietic cell transplantation (allo-HCT) has not been defined so far. In this retrospective study, we compared two “reduced-toxicity” regimens: intravenous busulfan at a total dose of 9.6 mg/kg (3 days) + fludarabine (Bu3/Flu) and total body irradiation at a dose of 8 Gy + fludarabine (TBI8Gy/Flu). In the entire study cohort (n = 518), the probabilities of overall survival (OS), leukemia-free survival (LFS), relapse and non-relapse mortality (NRM) at 2 years for Bu3/Flu and TBI8Gy/Flu were 62% vs. 72.5% (p = 0.051), 59.5% vs. 65% (p = 0.15), 30% vs. 20% (p = 0.01), and 10% vs. 14% (p = 0.18), respectively. In multivariate model for patients <50 years old, TBI8Gy/Flu was associated with improved LFS (hazard ratio (HR) = 0.5, p = 0.04), OS (HR = 0.31, p = 0.004), and survival free from both graft-versus-host disease and relapse (HR = 0.55, p = 0.03), as well as tendency to reduced risk of relapse (HR = 0.53, p = 0.08). Among patients aged 50 years or older the use of TBI8Gy/Flu was associated with increased incidence of NRM (HR = 3.9, p = 0.0009), with no significant impact on other outcome measures. We conclude that the use of TBI8Gy/Flu as “reduced-toxicity” regimen may be advised in younger patients with AML referred for allo-HCT.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)481-491
Number of pages11
JournalBone Marrow Transplantation
Issue number2
Early online date2020
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2021

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