Background: There is controversy over whether high-dose therapy and a bone marrow transplant is better than conventional-dose chemotherapy in adults with acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) in first remission. This decision may depend on which type of donor is available: an HLA-identical sibling, an alternative donor transplant (HLA-matched related or unrelated people other than HLA-identical siblings), or autotransplant. Objective: To determine the appropriate use of high-dose therapy and bone marrow transplants in ALL in first remission. Develop a treatment algorithm. Panelists: Nine leukemia experts from diverse geographic sites and practice settings. Evidence: Boolean MEDLINE searches of acute lymphoblastic leukemia and chemotherapy and/or transplants. Consensus process: We used a modified Delphi-panel group judgment process. Age, white blood cell (WBC) count, cytogenetics and immune type were permuted to define 48 clinical settings. Each panelist rated appropriateness of high-dose therapy and a transplant versus conventional-dose chemotherapy on a 9-point ordinal scale (1, most inappropriate; 9, most appropriate) considering three types of donors: (1) HLA-identical siblings; (2) alternative donors; and (3) autotransplants. An appropriateness index was developed based on median rating and amount of disagreement. Relationship of appropriateness indices to the permuted clinical variables was considered by analysis of variance and recursive partitioning. Preference between donor types was analyzed by comparing mean appropriateness indices of comparable settings and a treatment algorithm was developed. Conclusions: In people with an HLA-identical sibling donor, transplants were rated appropriate in those with unfavorable cytogenetics and uncertain in all other settings. An HLA-identical sibling donor was always preferred to an alternative donor or autotransplant. In people without an HLA-identical sibling but with an alternative donor, this type of transplant was rated appropriate in those with unfavorable cytogenetics. However, an autotransplant was preferred over an alternative donor transplant in all other settings where a transplant was rated uncertain. In people without an HLA-identical sibling or alternative donor, autotransplants were rated uncertain in all settings except in those with not unfavorable cytogenetics, WBC < 100 x 109 l-1 and T- or pre-B-cell type where they were rated inappropriate.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
Supported in part by Salick Health Care, Inc., Los Angeles, CA.
- Acute lymphoblastic leukemia
- Bone marrow transplant
- Delphi-panel analysis
- High-dose therapy