Background: Acute myeloid leukemia (AML) and myelodysplastic syndrome (MDS) are hematological diseases predominantly occurring in older patients. Although allogeneic hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (allo-HSCT) remains the curative therapy for refractory AML or high-risk MDS, old age is often a hurdle to the procedure. We conducted a retrospective study to analyze the prognostic factors predicting outcomes of older patients undergoing allo-HSCT for acute leukemia and MDS. Methods: We collected data from patients diagnosed with acute leukemia or MDS, who underwent allo-HSCT at >50 years of age and reviewed clinical characteristics, including age, sex, underlying disease, European Group for Blood and Bone Marrow Transplantation (EBMT) risk score, and presence of acute graft-versus-host disease (aGVHD) or chronic GVHD (cGVHD). The Cox proportional hazard model was adopted to explore the independent prognostic factors for overall survival (OS), progression-free survival (PFS), and non-relapse mortality (NRM). Results: A total of 85 older patients were included, with the median age at allo-HSCT being 55 years. The significant prognostic factors for worse OS or PFS were an EBMT risk score > 3 and grade III-IV aGVHD, while patients with moderate to severe cGVHD would have better OS or PFS. Interestingly, it is not cGVHD but grade III-IV aGVHD that significantly correlated with NRM. Conclusion: This cohort study suggests that an EBMT risk score >3 and grade III-IV aGVHD predict poor outcomes, and careful management of GVHD may allow better survival for older patients undergoing allo-HSCT.
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