Secondary acute lymphoblastic leukemia (s-ALL) is rare and poorly defined and data regarding outcomes post-transplant are lacking. Here, we report a detailed analysis of s-ALL at our Institution. Among 211 eligible patients with ALL from 2006 to 2017, 30 (14%) were defined as s-ALL and the remaining as primary ALL (p-ALL). s-ALL patients were older and had higher incidence of adverse risk factors. Overall response (OR) after induction was not different between s-ALL and p-ALL (79% versus 90% respectively, p = 0.106). S-ALL group had a higher risk of relapse (RFS) and death (RFS HR = 1.93, 95% CI 1.2–3.12, p = 0.007. OS HR: =1.95, 95% CI 1.18–3.23, p = 0.01). In multivariate analysis, the adverse effect of s-ALL on RFS and OS was no longer significant, however a pooled meta-analysis of our and published data indicated that s-ALL is an independent risk factor for lower OS (HR: 1.30, 95% CI: 1.11–1.52, p < 0.01). Myeloablative allogeneic transplantation in s-ALL was associated with lower rates of relapse and higher transplant related mortality without improvement in OS. These data indicate that s-ALL status should be considered for risk- stratification of newly diagnosed ALL. The optimal conditioning regimen for s-ALL patients undergoing allogeneic stem cell transplantation needs to be evaluated in a larger study.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)86-91
Number of pages6
JournalLeukemia Research
StatePublished - Sep 2018


  • Secondary acute lymphoblastic leukemia
  • Stem cell transplantation
  • Therapy-related acute lymphoblastic leukemia
  • Transplant related mortality


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