Improved survival after allogeneic hematopoietic stem cell transplantation in recent years. A single-center study.
We analyzed the outcome of allogeneic hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (HSCT) over the past 2 decades. Between 1992 and 2009, 953 patients were treated with HSCT, mainly for a hematologic malignancy. They were divided according to 4 different time periods of treatment: 1992 to 1995, 1996 to 2000, 2001 to 2005, and 2006 to 2009. Over the years, many factors have changed considerably regarding patient age, diagnosis, disease stage, type of donor, stem cell source, genomic HLA typing, cell dose, type of conditioning, treatment of infections, use of granulocyte-colony stimulating factor (G-CSF), use of mesenchymal stem cells, use of cytotoxic T cells, and home care. When we compared the last period (2006-2009) with earlier periods, we found slower neutrophil engraftment, a higher incidence of acute graft-versus-host disease (aGVHD) of grades II-IV, and less chronic GVHD (cGHVD). The incidence of relapse was unchanged over the 4 periods (22%-25%). Overall survival (OS) and transplant-related mortality (TRM) improved significantly in the more recent periods, with the best results during the last period (2006-2009) and a 100-day TRM of 5.5%. This improvement was also apparent in a multivariate analysis. When correcting for differences between the 4 groups, the hazard ratio for mortality in the last period was 0.59 (95% confidence interval [CI]: 0.44-0.79; P < .001) and for TRM it was 0.63 (CI: 0.43-0.92; P = .02). This study shows that the combined efforts to improve outcome after HSCT have been very effective. Even though we now treat older patients with more advanced disease and use more alternative HLA nonidentical donors, OS and TRM have improved. The problem of relapse still has to be remedied. Thus, several different developments together have resulted in significantly lower TRM and improved survival after HSCT over the last few years.