The status of umbilical cord blood transplantation (UCBT) in adults with Philadelphia-positive acute lymphoblastic leukaemia (Ph+ALL) and the impact of minimal residual disease (MRD) before transplant are not well established. We analysed 98 patients receiving UCBT for Ph+ALL in first (CR1) or second (CR2) complete remission (CR1, n = 79; CR2, n = 19) with MRD available before UCBT (92% analysed by reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction). Median age was 38 years and median follow-up was 36 months; 63% of patients received myeloablative conditioning and 42% received double-unit UCBT. Eighty-three patients were treated with at least one tyrosine kinase inhibitor before UCBT. MRD was negative (-) in 39 and positive (+) in 59 patients. Three-year cumulative incidence of relapse was 34%; 45% in MRD+ and 16% in MRD- patients (P =0·013). Three-year cumulative incidence of non-relapse mortality was 31%; it was increased in patients older than 35 years (P = 0·02). Leukaemia-free survival (LFS) at 3 years was 36%; 27% in MRD+ and 49% in MRD- patients (P = 0·05), and 41% for CR1 and 14% for CR2 (P = 0·008). Multivariate analysis identified only CR1 as being associated with improved LFS. In conclusion, MRD+ before UCBT is associated with increased relapse. Strategies to decrease relapse in UCBT recipients with Ph+ALL and MRD+ are needed.

Acute lymphoblastic leukaemia, Adult, Cord blood transplantation, Minimal residual disease,
British Journal of Haematology
Erasmus MC: University Medical Center Rotterdam

Tucunduva, L, Ruggeri, A, Sanz, G, Furst, C.J, Cornelissen, J.J, Linkesch, W, … Rocha, V. (2014). Impact of minimal residual disease on outcomes after umbilical cord blood transplantation for adults with Philadelphia-positive acute lymphoblastic leukaemia: An analysis on behalf of Eurocord, Cord Blood Committee and the Acute Leukaemia working party of the European group for Blood and Marrow Transplantation. British Journal of Haematology, 166(5), 749–757. doi:10.1111/bjh.12970