This retrospective study compared outcomes for 81 chronic myeloid leukemia patients who underwent myeloablative or nonmyeloablative allogeneic hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (HSCT). Sixty-five patients received myeloablative HSCT, and 16 patients received fludarabine (Fd), low-dose busulfan (Bu), and antithymocyte globulin (ATG) in nonmyeloablative HSCT. We determined overall survival (OS) and disease-free survival (DFS), as well as the occurrence of acute and chronic graft-versus-host disease (GVHD). The incidences of acute GVHD of grades II to IV were 14.0% and 18.7% for the myeloablative and nonmyeloablative groups, respectively. The incidence of chronic GVHD was significantly higher in the nonmyeloablative group (80% versus 66%). Five-year OS and DFS rates were significantly higher in nonmyeloablative group (70% for both), compared with 56% and 54%, respectively, for the myeloablative group. A univariate analysis, however, revealed a strong but statistically insignificant trend for enhanced overall OS and DFS in the nonmyeloablative group (P = .1 and .07, respectively). A multivariate analysis with the factors of treatment, age, sex, acute and chronic GVHD, and disease status at the time of transplantation revealed that both OS and DFS were significantly higher in the nonmyeloablative group than in the myeloablative group. These findings suggest that nonmyeloablative Fd/Bu/ATG treatment is at least not inferior (and quite probably superior) in terms of patient outcome compared with standard myeloablative therapy. Further larger-scale randomized clinical trials are warranted to clarify the efficacy of this treatment regimen.
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