The role of allogeneic bone marrow transplantation (BMT) in the consolidation of young adults with acute myeloid leukemia (AML) with matched sibling donors (MSD) is controversial. Although BMT is associated with increased event free survival compared with intensive chemotherapy (CT) consolidation, BMT also is associated with increased treatment-related mortality and likely decreased quality of life and life expectancy in patients who do not develop recurrent disease.
The authors used decision analysis to compare three strategies for maximizing quality-adjusted life years (QALYs) in patients with AML in first remission with an MSD: BMT All, BMT None (consolidation CT only), or BMT in high-risk patients, as defined by baseline cytogenetic testing (Test strategy). A second decision-analysis tree was then constructed that compared BMT with CT specifically for patients with intermediate cytogenetics.
Using expected QALYs as the outcome measure, the Test, BMT All, and BMT None strategies were associated with 20.10 QALYs, 19.63 QALYs, and 18.38 QALYs, respectively. Thus, the Test strategy, with CT for low-risk patients and BMT for intermediate risk and high-risk patients, was expected to be the optimal strategy. In the intermediate cytogenetic decision analysis, although the expected QALY for BMT recipients was higher compared with CT recipients (19.78 QALYs vs. 18.75 QALYs), because of uncertainty in variable estimates, the optimal choice was less clear.
CT consolidation is a reasonable option for patients with AML who have favorable cytogenetics, even if an MSD is available. This model provides a framework from which patients with AML and their physicians can make decisions about consolidation therapy. Cancer 2003;97:592–600. © 2003 American Cancer Society.