The outcome of allogeneic hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (allo-HSCT) for adult T-cell leukemia/lymphoma (ATL) is still unsatisfactory. To illustrate the advantages and disadvantages of each donor source, we performed a nationwide retrospective study of graft-versus-host disease (GVHD)-free, relapse-free survival (GRFS) of patients with allo-HSCT-treated ATL. One-year GRFS did not significantly differ between patients who received related bone marrow transplantation (R-BMT; 26%, n = 117), related peripheral blood stem cell transplantation (R-PBSCT; 22%, n = 225), unrelated bone marrow transplantation (UR-BMT; 26%, n = 619), and cord blood transplantation (CBT; 21%, n = 359; p = 0.09). This was attributable to a low incidence of systemically-treated chronic GVHD after CBT (9% at 1 year) and reduced non-GVHD/relapse mortality after R-PBSCT (9% at 1 year). Among patients transplanted in complete remission (CR), 1-year overall survival after CBT (52%, n = 132) was not inferior to that after R-BMT (55%, n = 51), R-PBSCT (57%, n = 79), and UR-BMT (58%, n = 280; p = 0.15), and relapse rates were equivalent among the four sources (p = 0.19). Our results suggest that all donor sources are feasible for CR patients and that GRFS provides important clues toward optimizing allo-HSCT for ATL.
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