Reduced-Intensity Allogeneic Stem Cell Transplantation in Children and Young Adults with Ultrahigh-Risk Pediatric Sarcomas

Kristin Baird, Terry J. Fry, Seth M. Steinberg, Michael R. Bishop, Daniel H. Fowler, Cynthia P. Delbrook, Jennifer L. Humphrey, Alison Rager, Kelly Richards, Alan S. Wayne, Crystal L. Mackall

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations


Some subsets of pediatric sarcoma patients have very poor survival rates. We sought to determine the feasibility and efficacy of allogeneic hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (alloHSCT) in pediatric sarcoma populations with <25% predicted overall survival (OS). Patients with ultrahigh-risk Ewing's sarcoma family of tumors (ESFT), alveolar rhabdomyosarcoma, or desmoplastic small round cell tumors received EPOCH-fludarabine induction, a cyclophosphamide/fludarabine/melphalan preparative regimen, and HLA matched related peripheral blood stem cells. Thirty patients enrolled; 7 did not undergo alloHSCT because of progressive disease with diminishing performance status during induction. All 23 alloHSCT recipients experienced rapid full-donor engraftment, with no peritransplantation mortality. Five of 23 alloHSCT recipients (22%) remain alive (OS of 30% by Kaplan-Meier analysis at 3 years), including 3 of 7 (42%) transplanted without overt disease (median survival 14.5 versus 29.0 months from alloHSCT for patients transplanted with versus without overt disease, respectively). Among the 28 patients who progressed on the study, the median survival from date of progression was 1.9 months for the 7 who did not receive a transplant compared with 11.4 months for the 21 transplanted (P = .0003). We found prolonged survival after posttransplantation progression with several patients exhibiting indolent tumor growth. We also saw several patients with enhanced antitumor effects from posttransplantation chemotherapy (objective response to pretransplantation EPOCH-F was 24% versus 67% to posttransplantation EOCH); however, this was associated with increased toxicity. This largest reported series of alloHSCT in sarcomas demonstrates that alloHSCT is safe in this population, and that patients undergoing alloHSCT without overt disease show higher survival rates than reported using standard therapies. Enhanced chemo- and radiosensitivity of tumors and normal tissues was observed posttransplantation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)698-707
Number of pages10
JournalBiology of Blood and Marrow Transplantation
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 2012
Externally publishedYes


  • Allogeneic stem cell transplantation
  • Pediatric soft tissue sarcoma
  • Reduced-intensity transplantation
  • Solid tumor

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Hematology
  • Transplantation


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