Assessment of Late Mortality Risk After Allogeneic Blood or Marrow Transplantation Performed in Childhood

Academic Article


  • Importance: Allogeneic blood or marrow transplantation (BMT) is a curative option for malignant and nonmalignant diseases of childhood. However, little is known about trends in cause-specific late mortality in this population during the past 3 decades. Objectives: To examine cause-specific late mortality among individuals who have lived 2 years or more after allogeneic BMT performed in childhood and whether rates of late mortality have changed over time. Design, Setting, and Participants: A retrospective cohort study was conducted of individuals who lived 2 years or more after undergoing allogeneic BMT performed in childhood between January 1, 1974, and December 31, 2010. The end of follow-up was December 31, 2016. Exposure: Allogeneic BMT performed in childhood. Main Outcomes and Measures: All-cause mortality, relapse-related mortality, and non-relapse-related mortality. Data on vital status and causes of death were collected using medical records, the National Death Index Plus Program, and Accurint databases. Results: Among 1388 individuals (559 females and 829 males) who lived 2 years or more after allogeneic BMT performed in childhood, the median age at transplantation was 14.6 years (range, 0-21 years). In this cohort, there was a total of 295 deaths, yielding an overall survival rate of 79.3% at 20 years after BMT. The leading causes of death were infection and/or chronic graft-vs-host disease (121 of 244 [49.6%]), primary disease (60 of 244 [24.6%]), and subsequent malignant neoplasms (45 of 244 [18.4%]). Overall, the cohort had a 14.4-fold increased risk for death (95% CI, 12.8-16.1) compared with the general population (292 deaths observed; 20.3 deaths expected). Relative mortality remained elevated at 25 years or more after BMT (standardized mortality ratio, 2.9; 95% CI, 2.0-4.1). The absolute excess risk for death from any cause was 12.0 per 1000 person-years (95% CI, 10.5-13.5). The cumulative incidence of non-relapse-related mortality exceeded that of relapse-related mortality throughout follow-up. The 10-year cumulative incidence of late mortality decreased over time (before 1990, 18.9%; 1990-1999, 12.8%; 2000-2010, 10.9%; P =.002); this decrease remained statistically significant after adjusting for demographic and clinical factors (referent group: <1990; 1990-1999: Hazard ratio, 0.64; 95% CI, 0.47-0.89; P =.007; 2000-2010: Hazard ratio, 0.49; 95% CI, 0.31-0.76; P =.002; P <.001 for trend). Conclusions and Relevance: Late mortality among children undergoing allogeneic BMT has decreased during the past 3 decades. However, these patients remain at an elevated risk of late mortality even 25 years or more after transplantation when compared with the general population, necessitating lifelong follow-up.
  • Published In

  • JAMA Oncology  Journal
  • Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Author List

  • Holmqvist AS; Chen Y; Wu J; Battles K; Bhatia R; Francisco L; Hageman L; Kung M; Ness E; Parman M
  • Volume

  • 4
  • Issue

  • 12