Limited data are currently available on the outcome of patients with acute myeloid leukemia (AML) undergoing allogeneic stem cell transplantation (allo-SCT) with a reduced performance status. We herein present the results of a registry study on 2,936 AML patients undergoing allo-SCT in first remission (CR1) with a Karnofsky Performance Status (KPS) score less than or equal to 80%. Two-year leukemia-free survival (LFS), overall survival (OS) and graft-versus-host disease (GVHD)-free, and relapse-free survival (GRFS) rates were 54%, 59%, and 41%, respectively. In multivariable analysis, patients with a KPS score = 80% had lower non-relapse mortality (NRM) and superior OS in comparison to patients with a KPS score <80% (p < 0.001). In the subgroup of patients with a KPS score =80%, a reduced-intensity conditioning (RIC) regimen was associated with an increased risk of relapse (p = 0.002) and lower GRFS (p < 0.001) compared to myeloablative conditioning (MAC). Differently, in patients with a KPS score <80%, a RIC regimen resulted in lower NRM (p < 0.001), whereas relapse incidence did not differ, thus leading to an improved GRFS (p = 0.008) as compared to MAC. A transplant from a matched sibling donor (MSD) was associated with a reduced incidence of grade III-IV acute GVHD (p < 0.01) and NRM (p < 0.01) in comparison to other donor types. In conclusion, allo-SCT appears feasible in AML patients with a jeopardized KPS score. Survival is significantly affected by the conditioning intensity, which should be adjusted according to the severity of KPS impairment.
- acute myeloid leukemia
- allogeneic stem cell transplant
- karnofsky performance status score
- myeloablative conditioning
- reduced intensity conditioning