A risk-adapted, MRD-driven transplant strategy is a feasible approach for the treatment of younger adults with AML.
Pretransplant MRD positivity should not contraindicate delivery of an allogeneic stem cell transplant.
We designed a trial in which postremission therapy of young patients with de novo acute myeloid leukemia (AML) was decided combining cytogenetics/genetics and postconsolidation levels of minimal residual disease (MRD). After induction and consolidation, favorable-risk patients (FR) were to receive autologous stem cell transplant (AuSCT) and poor-risk patients (PR) allogeneic stem cell transplant (AlloSCT). Intermediate-risk patients (IR) were to receive AuSCT or AlloSCT depending on the postconsolidation levels of MRD. Three hundred sixty-one of 500 patients (72%) achieved a complete remission, 342/361 completed the consolidation phase and were treatment allocated: 165 (48%) to AlloSCT (122 PR, 43 IR MRD-positive) plus 23 rescued after salvage therapy, for a total of 188 candidates; 150 (44%) to AuSCT (115 FR, 35 IR MRD-negative) plus 27 IR patients (8%) with no leukemia-associated phenotype, for a total of 177 candidates. Overall, 110/177 (62%) and 130/188 (71%) AuSCT or AlloSCT candidates received it, respectively. Two-year overall (OS) and disease-free survival (DFS) of the whole series was 56% and 54%, respectively. Two-year OS and DFS were 74% and 61% in the FR category, 42% and 45% in the PR category, 79% and 61% in the IR MRD-negative category, and 70% and 67% in the IR MRD-positive category. In conclusion, AuSCT may still have a role in FR and IR MRD-negative categories. In the IR MRD-positive category, AlloSCT prolongs OS and DFS to equal those of the FR category. Using all the available sources of stem cells, AlloSCT was delivered to 71% of the candidates.This trial was registered at www.clinicaltrials.gov as #NCT01452646 and EudraCT as #2010-023809-36.