Allogeneic hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (HSCT) is the recommended treatment for children with very high risk acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL), but it requires adequate institutional infrastructure, experience, and expertise, especially for alternative donor HSCT. We review our experience with high-dose chemotherapy (HDCT) and autologous peripheral blood stem cell transplantation (APBSCT), followed by post-APBSCT maintenance chemotherapy for children with very high risk ALL. Between August 1997 and November 2012, our institute was not successful with HLA-haploidentical HSCT. Thus, if patients lacked HLA-matched allogeneic donors or cord blood donors, we treated them with HDCT and APBSCT with carmustine, etoposide, cytarabine, and cyclophosphamide, followed by post-APBSCT maintenance chemotherapy with vincristine, oral prednisolone, methotrexate, and 6-mercaptopurine.Ten patients underwent HDCT and APBSCT due to relapse, biphenotype leukemia, Philadelphia translocation, MLL rearrangement, hypodiploidy, and initial white blood cell count above 20.0 × 109/L. At a median 7.4 years from HDCT to APBSCT, overall survival (OS) was 70.0% ± 14.5% and event-free survival (EFS) was 70.0% ± 14.5%. Adverse events were tolerable, without treatment-related mortality.This historical analysis may be a useful reference when allogeneic HSCT including alternative donor HSCT cannot be performed for children with very high risk ALL.
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