Late mortality in survivors of autologous hematopoietic-cell transplantation: Report from the Bone Marrow Transplant Survivor Study


We assessed late mortality in 854 individuals who had survived 2 or more years after autologous hematopoietic cell transplantation (HCT) for hematologic malignancies. Median age at HCT was 36.5 years, and median length of follow-up was 7.6 years. Overall survival was 68.8% ± 1.8% at 10 years, and the cohort was at a 13-fold increased risk for late death (standardized mortality ratio [SMR] = 13.0) when compared with the general population. Mortality rates approached those of the general population after 10 years among patients at standard risk for relapse at HCT (SMR = 1.1) and in patients undergoing transplantation for acute myeloid leukemia (AML; SMR = 0.9). Relapse of primary disease (56%) and subsequent malignancies (25%) were leading causes of late death. Relapse-related mortality was increased among patients with Hodgkin disease (HD; relative risk [RR] = 3.6), non-Hodgkin lymphoma (NHL; RR = 2.1), and acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL; RR = 6.5). Total body irradiation (RR = 0.6) provided a protective effect. Non-relapse-related mortality was increased after carmustine (RR = 2.3) and with use of peripheral blood stem cells (RR = 2.4). Survivors were more likely to report difficulty in holding jobs (RR = 9.4) and in obtaining health (RR = 7.7) or life insurance (RR = 8.4) when compared with siblings. Although mortality rates approach that of the general population after 10 years in certain subgroups, long-term survivors of autologous HCT continue to face challenges affecting their health and well-being. © 2005 by The American Society of Hematology.

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