Purpose: Total body irradiation (TBI) is an integral part of the conditioning regimen for patients with acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) undergoing allogeneic, hematopoietic, cell transplantation (allo-HCT). There are conflicting data in the literature regarding the utility of a cranial irradiation boost in high-risk adult ALL without evidence of preexisting central nervous system (CNS) involvement. This study investigates the posttransplant clinical outcomes of patients with high-risk adult ALL undergoing TBI conditioning for allo-HCT with or without a whole-brain boost, without overt CNS involvement at the time of diagnosis. Methods and materials: A retrospective cohort study was conducted using a medical record analysis. We identified 58 patients who were treated between January 1998 and December 2016, and met our preset inclusion criteria of adults (age >18 years old) who carried a pathologically confirmed diagnosis of CNS-negative, high-risk ALL, who underwent hematopoietic stem cell transplantation with TBI conditioning. A multivariate analysis of correlation between patient outcomes and collected categorical variables was assessed with stepwise Cox logistic regression. Survival analyses were assessed using the Kaplan-Meier technique with a log-rank test. Results: With a median follow-up time of 5.3 years, there was a statistically significant improvement in actuarial 7-year CNS relapse-free survival (100% vs 76.4%; P =.043) in favor of patients undergoing a cranial boost. There was no statistically significant improvement in 7-year progression-free survival (78.3% vs 62.5%; P =.076) or overall survival (49.4% vs 43.5%; P =.921) with versus without a cranial boost. On multivariate analysis, the presence of a cranial boost was the only identified variable with an independent relationship to CNS relapse-free survival. Conclusions: Adult patients with high-risk, CNS-negative ALL were found to have a statistically significant improvement in CNS relapse-free survival and a trend toward improved progression-free survival with the inclusion of a cranial boost with TBI pretransplant conditioning. Our data indicate that further investigation into the use of cranial boost in this patient population is warranted.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging