Single-Dose Daily Fractionation Is Not Inferior to Twice-a-Day Fractionated Total-Body Irradiation Before Allogeneic Stem Cell Transplantation for Acute Leukemia
A Useful Practice Simplification Resulting From the SARASIN Study
International Journal of Radiation: Oncology - Biology - Physics , Volume 102 - Issue 3 p. 515- 526
Purpose: Total-body irradiation (TBI) is a major constituent of myeloablative conditioning regimens. The standard technique consists of 12 Gy in 6 fractions over a period of 3 days. The Standard-fractionation compAred to one-daily fRaction total body irrAdiation prior to tranSplant In LEUkemia patieNts (SARASIN) study aimed to compare standard fractionation with once-daily fractionation before transplant in leukemia. Methods and Materials: We retrospectively compared TBI regimens delivered in 2993 patients from the European Society for Blood and Marrow Transplantation database, who underwent transplantation between 2000 and 2014 for acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL, n = 1729) or acute myeloid leukemia (AML, n = 1264). TBI was delivered as either 12 Gy in 6 fractions (group 1, considered the reference group; 1362 ALL and 857 AML patients), 9 to 12 Gy in 2 fractions (group 2, 173 ALL and 256 AML patients), or 12 Gy in 3 to 4 fractions (group 3, 194 ALL and 151 AML patients). Results: The median follow-up was 60 and 84 months in ALL and AML patients, respectively. At 5 years, the leukemia-free survival rate, overall survival rate, relapse incidence, and nonrelapse mortality rate were 46.6%, 50.4%, 28.8%, and 24.6%, respectively, in ALL patients and 46.6%, 48.9%, 29.7%, and 23.6%, respectively, in AML patients. In multivariate analyses, the outcomes of groups 2 and 3 were not statistically different from those in group 1. The cumulative incidence of secondary malignancies (SMs) was significantly higher in group 2 (7.2%; P < 10−6 for group 2 vs group 1). However, group 2 was not associated with an increase in SMs when we considered non–T-cell–depleted transplant patients. Conclusions: We showed that the 12-Gy fractionated TBI dose delivered either in 2 fractions or in 1 fraction per day over a period of 3 to 4 days resulted in nonsignificant differences in disease control and survival. However, 1-day fractionation may be associated with a higher risk of mucositis and hemorrhagic cystitis. The absence of a significant difference in the SM incidence in the non–T-cell–depleted group should be interpreted with caution in the context of a retrospective study design. Our findings are important to consider for radiation therapy department organization. In-depth analyses of other nonlethal toxicities and late effects are required.