Transplant-related toxicity and mortality: an AIEOP prospective study in 636 pediatric patients transplanted for acute leukemia

A. Balduzzi, M. G. Valsecchi, D. Silvestri, Franco Locatelli, L. Manfredini, Luca Manfredini, A. Busca, A. P. Iori, C. Messina, A. Prete, M. Andolina, F. Porta, C. Favre, S. Ceppi, G. Giorgiani, E. Lanino, A. Rovelli, Andreagiulia Rovelli, F. Fagioli, C. De FuscoR. Rondelli, C. Uderzo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Hematopoietic stem cell transplantation can cure high-risk acute leukemia (AL), but the occurrence of non-leukemic death is still high. The AIEOP conducted a prospective study in order to assess incidence and relationships of early toxicity and transplant-related mortality (TRM) in a pediatric population. Between 1990 and 1997 toxicities reported in eight organs (central nervous system, heart, lungs, liver, gut, kidneys, bladder, mucosa) were classified into three grades (mild, moderate, severe) and prospectively registered for 636 consecutive children who underwent autologous (216) or allogeneic (420) transplantation, either from an HLA compatible related (294), or alternative (126) donor in 13 AIEOP transplant centers. Overall, 47% of the patients are alive in CR (3-year EFS: 45.2%, s.e.: 2.1), 19% died in CR at a median of 60 days (90-day TRM: 14.3%, s.e.: 1.4), 34% relapsed. Toxicity of any organ, but mucosa and gut, was positively correlated with early death; moderate and severe toxicity to heart, lungs, liver and kidneys significantly increased early TRM, with estimated relative risks of 9.1, 5.5, 2.7 and 2.8, respectively, as compared to absent or mild toxicity. Patients with grade III-IV aGVHD experienced more than double (56% vs 19%) TRM than patients with grade 0-II aGVHD. A higher cumulative toxicity score, estimating the impact of toxicity on TRM, was significantly associated with transplantation from an alternative donor. Quantitative assessment allowed us to describe the extent to which 'grade' of toxicity and 'type' of involved organs were related to mortality and pre-transplant characteristics and yielded a prognostic score potentially useful to compare different conditioning regimens and predict probability of early death.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)93-100
Number of pages8
JournalBone Marrow Transplantation
Publication statusPublished - 2002


  • acute leukemia
  • bone marrow transplantation
  • childhood
  • toxicity
  • transplant-related mortality
  • transplant-related toxicity


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