For adults with Philadelphia chromosome-negative (Ph-) acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) in first complete remission (CR1), allogeneic hematopoietic cell transplantation (HCT) is an established curative strategy. However, pediatric-inspired chemotherapy may also offer durable leukemia-free survival in the absence of HCT. We compared 422 HCT recipients aged 18-50 years with Ph-ALL in CR1 reported to the CIBMTR with an age-matched concurrent cohort of 108 Ph- ALL CR1 patients who received a Dana-Farber Consortium pediatric-inspired non-HCT regimen. At 4 years of follow-up, incidence of relapse after HCT was 24% (95% CI 19-28) versus 23% (95% CI 15-32) for the non-HCT (chemo) cohort (P=0.97). Treatment-related mortality (TRM) was higher in the HCT cohort [HCT 37% (95% CI 31-42) versus chemo 6% (95% CI 3-12), P<0.0001]. DFS in the HCT cohort was 40% (95% CI 35-45) versus 71% (95% CI 60-79) for chemo, P<0.0001. Similarly, OS favored chemo [HCT 45% (95% CI 40-50)] versus chemo 73% [(95% CI 63-81), P<0.0001]. In multivariable analysis, the sole factor predictive of shorter OS was the administration of HCT [hazard ratio 3.12 (1.99-4.90), P<0.0001]. For younger adults with Ph- ALL, pediatric-inspired chemotherapy had lower TRM, no increase in relapse, and superior overall survival compared to HCT.
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