Many hematologic malignancies are diseases of aging, and the use of hematopoietic cell transplant (HCT) is growing rapidly among older adults. Modern post-transplant cyclophosphamide (PTCy) protocols with haploidentical (haplo) donors have dramatically expanded the donor pool for patients requiring HCT. Initial studies were performed with bone marrow grafts, which require the donor to undergo anesthesia during harvest. However, the use of mobilized peripheral blood stem cells (PBSCs) may be desirable, especially with older donors. However, data on PBSC haplo-HCT in older adults are lacking. To characterize the impact of age on outcomes in haplo-HCT, we identified all adult patients undergoing haplo-HCT with PTCy for acute myeloid leukemia (AML) or myelodysplastic syndrome (MDS) at our institution from January 2009 to June 2016. Patients were grouped into 3 cohorts: Age 1 (≤55), Age 2 (55 to 65), and Age 3 (≥65). To characterize the impact of donor type on outcomes in older patients, we identified age- and disease risk index (DRI)-matched patient age ≥ 65 undergoing HLA-matched unrelated donor (MUD) HCT for AML or MDS during the same time frame. Patients were scored for disease risk and underlying comorbidities using the DRI and HCT-specific comorbidity index. Overall survival (OS) was analyzed using 3 different Cox proportional hazards models. We identified 112 haplo-HCT patients, 95 with AML and 17 with MDS. There were 61 patients in Age 1, 29 patients in Age 2, and 22 in Age 3. Median OS was 448, 397, and 147 days in Age 1, Age 2, and Age 3 patients (log-rank, P = .04). After adjusting for other risk factors, age ≥ 65 was associated with significantly worse OS after haplo-HCT (aHR, 2.16; 95% CI, 1.15 to 4.07). There was a trend toward increased relapse among older patients at 2 years (56%; 95% CI, 32% to 79%) versus Age 1 (41%; 95% CI, 28% to 54%) and Age 2 (31%; 95% CI, 12% to 50%) (P = .08). Among patients age ≥ 65, donor type (MUD versus haplo) did not impact OS (aHR, 1.03; 95% CI, .56 to 1.88) after adjusting for other risk factors. Prior allo-HCT (aHR, 4.95; 95% CI, 1.82 to 13.49) and myeloablative conditioning (aHR, 1.97; 95% CI, 1.04 to 3.73) were associated with inferior survival. Although age ≥ 65 was associated with inferior OS in our haplo-HCT cohort, no difference was seen in survival between MUD and haplo-HCT. Therefore, the use of haploidentical donors in older patients is a reasonable treatment option, especially if there is concern for clinical deterioration. A careful pretransplant evaluation and analysis of risks and benefits is warranted when offering this transplant modality to older adults, especially in patients with previous transplant or poor performance status. Strategies to reduce the risk of relapse and decrease nonrelapse mortality in older adults are areas of ongoing research, and prospective studies are needed.
- acute myeloid leukemia (AML)
- myelodysplastic syndromes (MDS)